Don’t Kill Time

By Jack Cohen


Time is money.


Or so they say.


If only we actually saw time as money, we'd spend it so much more wisely. But, of course, time isn't money. Time is time. Time is life.


We realize it more and more as we age. A wise person once said: "when we're young, we spend our time to get more money; when we're old, we spend our money to get more time."


Time is the ultimate currency. All other currencies, at the end of the day, when the time comes to cash out, need to be converted into time -- and of course, time well-spent.


Life is priceless. Its value infinite. It doesn't matter how thinly you slice infinity -- every piece should in theory remain infinite in value.


The fact that we put a price tag on our time by receiving an hourly wage or monthly salary can only be truly justified if we go back and reinvest that livelihood we earn in order to create a life with it that we wouldn't trade for anything in the world.


All of us want that life of infinite worth. But not all of us realize that it can only be lived in the day in day out hour by hour of what we normally call "the mundane" and "everyday." In our desire for "a life of meaning" on the big scale of things, we let fall by the wayside so many opportunities for meaning on any given day.


Tasting even a moment of rapport and connection with a friend or spouse, or the profound feeling of purpose when helping another person when they really need us, or finally understanding a piece of wisdom that is the tip of an iceberg -- instantly radiates the great truth -- if our eyes are open to see it -- that one can miraculously touch the infinite in even the seemingly fleeting present.


We prepare to encounter the Infinite at Mount Sinai by counting the days.


The Counting of the Omer is the mitzvah that spans our leaving Egypt on Passover to our Receiving the Torah on Shavuot. We count up from 1 to 49, stopping the day before Shavuot since the Infinite itself is uncountable. That big "life of meaning" we desire can't be grasped by a us directly. It is a gift that comes from our counting our days and making them count. Our job is to find the meaning in purpose in our day by day, and through that find that we've lived a life worth living.


Only by realizing that every day is worth counting, can we come to appreciate how much every morning, afternoon, evening, hour, minute and moment matters. Each thin slice is an opportunity to purchase the infinite at a finite price. If you think about it, it's the ultimate bargain.


May we all be like Avraham, who "came with his days" at the end of his life, carrying with him all the days he had lived to their fullest -- one day at a time.