Readjusting the scales.
The other day my wife and I were sorting through our “mailbox.” This literally is a box we keep all the “non-immediate” mail that we need or want to look at, but not necessarily “must do now!” mail. I noticed that I have a lot of motorcycle magazines in the box that I still have not read. I used to read them all, cover to cover, within a few days of getting a new issue. Now I see several issues from the past few months that I never even cracked open. What’s been going on??
Hmmm, well, I started getting Art Scroll’s “A Daily Dose of Torah,” and have been trying to keep up in that. I also have “The Mishna Says” series, which I also try to read on a regular basis. Last week I started a Hebrew class. CConversational Hebrew, not necessarily what I’ll see in the Torah/siddur, but hopefully will help my pronunciation, and help me to learn more about the language anyway, plus I have family in Israel that I hope to visit again within a few years.)
After thinking about all that, an analogy suddenly flashed in my mind. During the 10 days of Repentance, we say that Hashem is looking through His book of names, deciding who will live and who will die, etc. I’m going to have to go through my reading list (magazines, books, different study material, etc.) and decide what will stay and what will be removed. Not that I’d cancel all of the motorcycle magazines and fun reading material. But instead of 4 magazines, maybe 2 will be enough. I need to set more realistic expectations.
When I relayed this to my wife, she felt bad as she thought I was sacrificing something I enjoyed reading. But as I thought about it more, I realized there’s no one holding a gun to my head, saying I must read about the next parsha, and forget reading about the flashy new motorcycle that Kawasaki is developing right now. Rather, I WANT to study the next parsha. When the bike comes out, I can still give it a spin and see if it’s what I want as well. :-)