Sunday, May 08, 2005

Orlah: Three Years Before Harvest

It's not just a Torah problem....
"Many men dream of finishing the entire Talmud (Shas) in one evening," R' Yisrael Salanter zt"l is said to have once quipped, "and to get a good night's sleep too!"
Today perhaps more than ever, we tend to focus our efforts and energies on things that have the potential to bring us swift results and immediate gratification. Western society and its "time-saving" innovations have left us acutely impatient and intolerant of even the slightest delays. Overnight shipping, once an expensive extravagance, is now the norm. We want what we want - and we want it now!
We can't turn back the clocks. Mass-production and disposable goods are here to stay. Our task is to make sure the need for immediate gratification that so pervades our world doesn't invade our efforts in Torah, tefilah, and mitzvah performance, and chinuch ha-banim (education). Remember: What comes easily is parted with easily. The more of ourselves we invest in Torah, the more we value it, and the more dear it becomes.
There are fields in which the increased pace has been a boon, in which the technologies of immediacy have been a blessing. Mixed, though.

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