Ki Tisa: Patience Makes Perfect

Often, what takes patience has more value than what comes easily.

Rabbi S. Weiss,

Judaism Rabbi S Weiss.JPG
Rabbi S Weiss.JPG
Arutz 7

It was all set up, ready to go. Bnei Yisrael was primed, having been freed from slavery, on the path to the Holy land, having already made their declaration of faith, "We shall do & we shall listen!" Moshe was pumped, about to bring down the Luchot to guide us on our way.

And then, suddenly, tragically, it all came crashing down - both the 10 Commandments & our pristine relationship
with Hashem. Our hopes were calved - I mean halved - & our golden personality tarnished. What happened??

I suggest the problem is one of instant gratification.

You see, there was a slight disconnect, a misunderstanding between Moshe & the people. He said that he would return to
them from Har Sinai in exactly 40 days. But they thought the day he ascended the mount was day 1; he counted the following day as the first of the 40.

And so, when he did not appear on the day they thought he should, they panicked & turned to the Golden Calf.

Perhaps it was a leftover from their slave mentality, when time was neither flexible or fungible; perhaps Moshe had not given
them enough self-confidence to "stay cool." Or perhaps they felt they had to have what they wanted precisely when they wanted it.

The syndrome is not strange to us. We, too, suffer from a great lack of patience & perseverance. Instant coffee, fast
food, E-Z pass, sms. Quick, quick, gotta do it quick.. How many times have you heard your kid say, "I can't believe
how slow that old computer of your's is!"

Their creed: "It's NOW - or never!"

But not everything in Jewish life comes quick - or easy. More often than not, the real value & lesson is in the effort, the struggle, the energy we invest in the getting there. For all the amazing advances of our generation, there was a special quality in the era when we had to work long & hard in order to figure out what the Gemara was saying, instead of being handed the translation on an
Artscroll platter.

As Pirkei Avot teaches: L'fum tzara agra: Sweat = Satisfaction.

Peace now? Moshiach now? Lovely slogans all. But generally speaking, masterpieces - from great novels to gourmet cooking
to successful marriages - take time, patience & a whole lot of hard work. Bnei Yisrael at the mountain just couldn't wait, they couldn't hold back until Moshe arrived. And so they rushed, they sped - & speed, as every good driver knows, can lead to unmitigated disaster.

Speed, of course, does have its place; it is synonymous with excitement & joy. Our day will soon come IY"H. And just as our fortunes fell at Har Sinai in an instant, so, too, can the Geula/Redemption come in the blink of an eye.