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By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

Some people are always late and others seem to always arrive at their destination with time to spare. If you took a survey the results would show that most people say that punctuality is a positive, admirable trait. Deep down inside even the tardiest will admit that keeping others waiting is rude.

Like most things in life, however, it is not a matter of only black and white. There are some shades of gray. If one is a slave to time one might fall into traps that are definitely negative. Some people reach unhealthy blood pressure levels because someone he or she expected is not where he or she promised at an appointed time. Others argue with a spouse over tardiness that amounts to only a few minutes. Children develop negative images of themselves because a prompt parent has repeatedly said, “You’re ALWAYS late!” People have gotten into automobile accidents when rushing to beat the clock.

Today when you are aggravated by another’s tardiness –stop. Don’t blow your cool. Weigh the few moments of lateness against the negative effects of “losing it.” Chill out a little and after taking a deep breath –beat the clock, don’t let the clock beat you into an unpleasant or even unhealthy situation. It only takes a minute to become a master of time rather than a slave to it.


If one comes out of a rest room or bathhouse or if one cut their fingernails or toenails, he or she should wash a Netillat Yadayim. Unlike other washings, a cup is not necessary and it is not necessary to repeat the washing three times on each hand. One rinsing for each hand under a faucet is sufficient. In these situations, if one hears a Kaddish or Kedushah or even a beracha [blessing] one should answer even though one as not yet washed. [Source: Yalkut Yosef, Vol 1, p16/7, Halakha 20,21]


Rebbi Yishak said, “Blessing is not found except on things that are hidden from the eye [i.e. the view of others]. The Gemara adds that should one go to his storehouse to take inventory, one may pray, “May it be your will our G-d that you bless my possessions -- [blessing means “increase”]. If, however, one has already begun to count his inventory then he may only say, “Blessed is the One who sends blessing to this stock.” If the person has already completed the inventory count then any blessing or prayer for a bountiful count is considered a blessing in vain. Blessing cannot fall on something counted exactly. [Baba Mesiah, 42a]

NOTE: This Gemara is a lesson in living a low-key, modest lifestyle. The blessing of G-d and His divine protection applies to things that are hidden from the sight of others.

Raymond J Beyda

Text Copyright © 2004 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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