Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Chayei Sarah

Pursue the Moment

By Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig

Immediately prior to his meeting Rivka (Rebecca), "Yitzchak (Isaac) went out to converse in the field toward evening." (Beraishis/Genesis 24:63) Rashi notes that this conversing is a reference to prayer. The Talmud (Brachos 26b) explains that the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers that we recite daily were instituted by Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov; that Yitzchak instituted the afternoon prayers is derived from this occurrence. Maharsha (1) notes that the Talmud teaches elsewhere (Yuma 28b) that Avraham prayed three times daily, as we do today. Thus, he concludes that when the Talmud stated that Yitzchak "instituted" the afternoon prayers it does not mean that he originated them; rather, he was the most zealous regarding them since the afternoon prayers correspond to his attributes. The Talmud is thereby directing us: through understanding the attributes of Yitzchak we can develop a greater appreciation of the uniqueness of the afternoon prayers and how they are supposed to impact our daily lives.

Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler (2) explains that Yitzchak faced a challenge in life, which in some ways was more difficult than the challenges his father faced. Avraham discovered G-d through his own industry. His Divine service, flowing forth from this epiphany, was inevitably genuine. Yitzchak, however, from his youth was instructed how to properly approach G-d. His challenge was to transform the good habits he acquired in his childhood, mere external actions mimicking his righteous parents, and elevating them to sincere devotion, service of the Divine infused with his unique spirit and soul.

Afternoon is often the most difficult time to pray - the morning service can be recited before we get involved in our hectic, complicated lives and the evening prayers can wait until we are finished with our daily activities. Further frustrating the meaningfulness of the service is the reality that the weekday afternoon prayers are repetitions of those we already said in the morning. But the afternoon prayers compel us to break from our routine and remember that G-d is caring for us, attending to us, genuinely with us throughout the day. We do this by repeating words recited earlier in the day: we do not have to be the first to perform an act for it to be special; it is as special as the dedication, spirituality and meaning with which we infuse it. Indeed, even our day filled with mundane activities has great spiritual potential. Holiness can be found in everything we do. Our challenge is to be like Yitzchak: to pursue the moments of undeveloped potential and turn those activities into true acts of Divine service.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) acronym for Moreinu Harav [our teacher, the Rabbi] Shlomo Eidels of Ostroh, Poland; 1555-1632; Rosh Yeshiva/Dean and Rabbi in a number of leading communities of Poland; author of monumental commentaries on the Babylonian Talmud

(2) 1891-1954; in Michtav Me'Eliyahu, his collected writings and discourses; from England and, later, B'nai Brak, he was one of the outstanding personalities and thinkers of the Mussar movement


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

“Letter to my Son Akiva” (born 10 years ago, on Erev LAG B’OMER)
Jon Erlbaum - 5771

Ha Lachma Anya
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Lag B'Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Eternal Impact of the Exodus
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Something Great and Awesome
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

A Count of Anticipation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

What's With the Number Four?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Great Shabbos
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Ha Lachma Anya
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

ArtScroll

The Great Shabbos
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

Elevated by Divine Command
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5770

Matzah and Maror - Worthy Mechutanim
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

> The Fifth Son
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

“4 Seder Cups & 1 Yiddishe Cup” (Insights for the Passover Seder)
Jon Erlbaum - 5770

Providing for the Needy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

The Passover Order
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information