Superior time management: When we stop killing time

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When this coming Shabbat is over, we will move our clocks back one hour. Have we thought about what we intend to do with this whole extra hour? We are talking about a valuable gift of 60 entire minutes, of 3,600 seconds.

In this week's Torah portion, parashat Chayei Sarah, both Avraham and Sarah pass away. It's noteworthy that our commentators throughout the generations have emphasized a special quality common to Avraham and Sarah - the ability to utilize each moment to the maximum. It's not only that Avraham and Sarah were distnguished for their righteousness and faith, but they were also supremely skilled in time management; it was the foundation for all that they achieved.

Regarding Sarah Imeinu it was said that they called her Sarah from the word serara (rulership). Sarah manages and rules each one of her days instead of allowing them to rule her. Each of her 127 years were "equally good," our sages write. In other words, she fully utilized each of her years on earth. Today, we use expressions such as "killing time" and "wasting time." Sarah did not waste a single moment.

And regarding Avraham it was said: "And Avraham was old and advanced with days." What does "advanced with days" mean?

There are commentators who explain it like this: He advanced to the next world with all his days fully lived and could point to each one of them and declare what he did on it. Each day of his life was full of content and meaning until his last. Someone who "advances with days" makes each day a completely favorable experience.

So how will we fully utilize each moment of the Shabbat before us? And what will we do with the extra hour we will receive as a gift the day after Shabbat ends?

Shabbat shalom.

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