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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Timeshare for sale

Daf Yomi Nedarim 3
We’ve all been there.  You’re wandering innocently through Scottsdale or Honolulu and someone comes over to you offering you a free hotel stay or a fully-loaded Amex gift card.  The catch?  You just need to spend three hours taking a ‘tour.’  Three hours, of course, is never really three hours – it ends up turning into a whole-day affair.

So you’ve taken the tour and they sit you down and tell you, ‘Today’s the day!’  You can’t think about it, sleep on it; no, ‘Today’s the day!’  Not tomorrow.  Not next week. ‘Today’s the day!’  They know of course that once you leave their sales office, you’re not thinking about it again.  The sale is never made the next day.  This is their only shot.

The Torah declares in Parshas Nasso, “When a man shall clearly utter a nazirite vow to abstain for G-d. . .”

It was taught in a Beraisa: The Torah connects vows and nazirism.   Just like concerning vows, one is liable for desecration or delay, similarly regarding nazirism, one is liable for desecration or delay. 
The Gemara asks: How is it possible to delay an oath of nazirism?  Once one declares, ‘I vow to be a nazir,’ he is a nazir!  If he should then eat grapes, he would be liable!
Rava answers: One example would be if he said, ‘I shall not depart this world without becoming a nazir!’  From that moment, he immediately becomes a nazir, for we say: perhaps he may die today. 

Many people tell themselves that one day they will become more committed to their Judaism.  I might not be prepared to be a ‘nazir’ today, but ‘I shall not depart this world without becoming a nazir!’  While most people don’t have nazirite aspirations, they do aspire to become better Jews.  One day.  Someday.  Before I leave this world.  Just not yet.

Our Sages teach in Ethics of the Fathers, “Do not say: when I have time, I shall learn Torah.  For maybe you will never have the time.”  If you plan to improve upon your dedication to Judaism, ‘Today’s the day!’  You never know what tomorrow will bring.  There will always be reasons to put it off.  If you truly value what Judaism has to offer, don’t put it off to tomorrow.

As they say, tomorrow never comes.  They also say, there’s no time like the present.  Do you know what that really means?  The present doesn’t really exist in time.  It’s an infinitely miniscule period of time that’s disappeared before you could even measure it.  That means that every moment you put off your intention to commit, you’ve lost the present.  And every missed present is a missed opportunity.  

Today’s the day!  You know you want to become closer to the Divine.  May you never lose another moment waiting for the right day to arrive!