How meaningful are King Solomon’s words, that we read this Shabbat in synagogues from the scroll of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes):
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.”
Many commentaries were written about these words that are read every year on the Shabbat of Chol HaMo’ed Sukkot, but the simplest commentary is sufficient: There is a time for everything. In our global, confusing world, our tendency is to mix everything, to do everything at the same time and to erase any boundaries and definitions. Shlomo HaMelech reminds us of a basic truth according to which there is a time for everything. In life, there are different kinds of times, there is good and there is bad, and it is important to know it and to see what is proper for us and when. Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra wrote about this, as follows: “A man must do everything in its proper time.”It is important to set boundaries between things, precisely so that every field in our life may grow and flourish. And here comes the Chag, and reminds us that there is time for regular, mundane things and time for holiness. Chag Sameach!