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Making time for our souls

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

"Shalom Sivan, I read that you tested positive and that you are in isolation. Me too. I wanted to share a thought I had once my door was closed, and members of my household and my customers had to manage without me.

"In this week's Torah portion, Yitro joins the nation of Israel and notices that Moshe Rabbeinu, his son-in-law, is working from morning until evening, sitting in judgment of the people's disputes. Yitro does not understand why and asks Moshe: 'What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening?' Moshe Rabbeinu explains to him that his work is never done, that the people never stop coming to him, to which Yitro sharply responds: 'The thing you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people who are with you, for the matter is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.'

Yitro suggests that Moshe appoint a bevy of assistants: leaders over thousands, leaders over hundreds, leaders over fifties, and leaders over tens - in other words, that he delegate authority to others. There are matters that others can address so that Moshe Rabbeinu has time left over to do what is truly important. And then, Yitro promises, if Moshe will heed his advice, 'then you will be able to endure, and this entire people, as well, will arrive at its destination in peace.'

If even Moshe Rabbeinu cannot and need not do everything, it would seem that I can't either. And it's notewrothy that all of this happens just before matan Torah, the giving of the Torah. In other words, the prerequisite to receiving the Torah is knowing how to delegate and how to manage our day so that we can make time in our schedule for our souls. May we be so privileged and may you have a speedy and complete recovery. Shabbat shalom."


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