PARSHAT BO: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
By Sherrie B. Miller
Hashem said to Moshe and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be
for you the beginning of the months, it shall be for you the first of the months
of the year.” (Shmot 12:1-2)
This mitzvah of establishing time in creation of the calendar and sanctifying time
through holy-days, is the first mitzvah given to the Jews as a nation.
The words “for you,” appear twice in one verse, indicating the significance of time
in its relationship to the Jewish People.
According to the Rav Yaakov Ariel, Hashsem’s intention in charging us with the responsibility
of establishing the calendar and living within its constraints is meant to teach
us the value of time. Time is something to be cherished and taken advantage of,
in total contradistinction of the Western concept of time as something that we often
Moreover, we are empowered not only to make time count, but to sanctify and make
it holy by engaging in worthwhile endeavors that will cause Hashem’s name to be
revealed to the world.
The Korban Pessach is an avoda, a mandatory service which is immediately mandated
by Hashem at the onset of the Geula. This is to teach us that it is not enough to
run away from slavery to freedom, but rather to understand that freedom is a just
a means to and end; true freedom and total devotion to Hashem free us from idle
pursuits that can be likened to “idol worship.”
Through this avoda, we submit to the Will of Hashem and accept “ol malchut shamayim.”
The Talmud states that the main characteristic of a truly free man is one who is
constantly engaged in a Torah lifestyle.
The modern world’s pursuit of freedom for its own sake has created a backlash noted
by an escape from responsibility. As Jews, we must aspire to much greater goals,
aims, ambitions and scrutiny of life’s ultimate purpose.
Many get caught up in lengthy career studies, “workaholism, pursuing money, fame
and power. This trend is side tracking us from our primary task of Marriage. Marriage
is a framework in which we become more efficient, and more productive, enabling
us to improve and become the person that we were meant to be. The Talmud states
that a man is not whole until he is married. This can be compared to driving a car
in low gear.
Parshat Bo emphasizes the eating of Matza and the prohibition of chametz on Pessach.
Chametz refers to missed opportunities and warns: “mitzva ha’baah leyadcha, al tachmitzena.”
Matza’s concept is the opposite, symbolizing the alacrity, (zrizut) needed in keeping
it flat. Not just on Pessah, but throughout the year we must increase our efforts
to truly free to choose the path of Torah.
According to Rav Chaim Sabato, the alacrity and rush involved in the Jews eating
the Matza was designed by G-d as a safety net for fear that if they lingered any
longer after being freed and losing that slave status, they would readily adopt
the mores and values of Egyptian culture, before they had the Sinai experience of
binding them to their Relationship with Hashem.
Rav Kook notes that in the final redemption, may it be speedily in our days, the
redemption will not come suddenly as it did in Egypt but will be born out of a process
of the nation’s maturity, growth and adequate preparation.
Rav Kook asserts that skipping necessary stages in the creation of a nation will
engender many difficulties. This was the case of the Egyptian redemption; it took
place with unnatural speed and did not allow time for the Jews to really digest
and understand the goals. This led to repeated crises and unfortunate challenges
during the journey through the desert. In addition, the Nation made no personal
investment in this process to make it their own.
In choosing a life partner, we must not be hasty, but we must also be truly dedicated
to making that ultimate commitment in order that we not miss opportunities that
may have turned out to be an excellent choice. Marriage is not about choosing the
perfect person, or being more in love, but rather in having the necessary preparation
and learning to build a strong and lasting marriage.
Lori Lurie and I have created “Choice of the Heart” (www.choiceoftheheart.org) to
empower nearly weds and newlyweds with experiential workshops that give couples
the opportunity to explore the major issues of marriage (integrated with Torah sources),
before they become issues, and teach the vital skills for relationship building.
As Dr. David Olson author of Empowering Couples states:
“People don’t prepare to fail, people fail to prepare!”
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish Matchmaker
on SawYouAtSinai.com and works with
Jewish Singles all over the world. She is an educational guidance counselor,
group leader, pre-marital coach, matchmaker and Judaic Studies teacher. Sherrie
is dedicated to promoting and enhancing emotional intelligence and communication
skills in conjunction with Torah values.
Sherrie received her educational counseling degree from the Michlalah in Bayit Vegan
and an M.A. in Education and Counseling from Touro College, Jerusalem, Israel. Sherrie
also holds a B.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Brooklyn College and a
B.Sc. from Yeshiva University in Jewish Education. Sherrie is certified by Midreshet
Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital couple’s
counselor and Kallah teacher.
Before coming to Israel in 1989 from Great Neck, New York, Sherrie taught Judaic
Studies at the North Shore Hebrew Academy. Sherrie also educated affiliated and
unaffiliated adults through the “Project Identity” outreach program under the directorship
of Rabbi Yaakov Lerner. Sherrie trained individuals and couples in the laws of Kashrut,
Guidelines of Parenting, Parshat Shavua and Pirkei Avot.
In her work as a Guidance Counselor in the national religious “Mamad” school, "Yehuda
Halevi", Sherrie instructed life skill workshops to students, parents and teachers,
with a focus on communication, conflict resolution and anger management. She also
leads support groups for children of divorce.
Sherrie is certified by the Life Center and leads Parenting workshops based on the
Faber/Mazlish workshops on, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids
Sherrie is an executive board member of the Emunah World Zionist Organization, Mibreishit,
led by Rav Motti Alon, and Nishmat led my Rabbanit Hanna Henkin.
Sherrie’s diverse background in counseling and teaching, combined with torah principles
and values contribute to the depth and quality of her success with clients. Lessons
drawn from her own life transitions make her coaching perspective uniquely inspirational.
Sherrie helps individuals clarify their goals and take masterful action steps to
reach them. Sherrie is professionally known for her guidance in the educational
system as well as her outstanding capabilities teaching interpersonal relationship
skills to groups and individuals.
Having made a number of successful matches resulting in marriage, Sherrie volunteers
as a matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai, an internet matchmaking site.