Parshat Bereshit: What can we learn about the passage of time?

This post is dedicated in memory of Shlomo ben Aryeh Zalman. May it be an aliyah for his neshama.
The first chapter of the Torah starts out, 'בראשית' commonly translated as 'In the beginning.' Much of what occurs in the first few paragraphs have to do with time and creation. The great mussar teacher Rabbi Dessler says in the name of the mystical commentator the Ramban, that G-d uses interesting language, 'Six days G-d created...' why not say 'In six days'? The Ramban explains that these aren't really 'days' like you or I know them today. Since G-d is above space and time, the concept of days as a unit of measurement for how long it took to create everything is more for us to help grasp the passage of time than to really explain how long anything took.

Why take the trouble to explain creation in relation to days if they are not accurate measurements? Rav Dessler goes on to say that it is for our benefit - but not as you may think. Each person is on this planet for a limited time - 120 years if we are lucky. While not everyone is subject to this fault, many people tend to procrastinate. If it wasn't for that fact that one knows their life is finite, there would be no incentive to grow as a person, which ideally each and every one of us should be striving for each day. Rav Dessler says the constriction of time, how it limits us to finite possibilities before we return to eternity is a gift - a clock that reminds us we have much to do and little time.

We are still in the season of beginnings - the new year is still only a few weeks behind us. We have just finished reading the Torah and are entering a new cycle again. We are into our own lives, but each year is an opportunity to reset ourselves - our goals, values, and so on, so that we may get the most out of this year, and this life. May this year bring nothing but blessing to all our readers.

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