May 25 2017 Dvar Torah

Rabbi Ceitlin 270x306
Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin

This past Thursday, I found myself in a silly predicament. My iPhone decided to undergo a Software Update exactly when I was leaving the computer to pick up my children from school.

But how can I actually go on without a communication device? I could be making a call or listening to a Podcast interview. And what if there's an emergency? What if I need to Google something? It didn't seem conceivable.

I have then remembered an insight shared in Talmud Tractate Shabbat (86b):

When the Jewish people finally reached Mount Sinai, there was radio silence on Moshe's behalf. Didn't Moshe have guidance for them as they were about to receive the Ten Commandments?

The answer is that the people were eager for this moment and Moshe indeed had things to tell them, but the nation was too tired to listen. The journey had left them with no energy to hear the wisdom they traveled for.

Like them, we tend to get so caught up in the journey that when we finally reach the destination, we're exhausted and distracted. We forget to cherish and make use of the really important moment.

While my phone calls may be productive and that Podcast carried value, they can't compare to the importance and pleasure of spending time with my Goldie and Sarah.

With that in mind, I left my phone and headed out. On the way home, without any distractions, I was able to freely chat with my daughters. And it was a gratifying moment.

They spoke about their day in school and shared their excitement about the upcoming holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah (and the ice cream party we typically host...)

Here's to a happy Shavuot and making time for the meaningful things in life.