With Time’s Passing, Satisfaction

Here is a link to the Hebrew text.

You shall not take from him interest or increase, and you shall fear your God, and let your brother live with you. (Lev 25:36)

(Psalms 91:16) “With the length of days I will satisfy him and I will show him my salvation.

Whether we are a lender or a borrower, as time passes, the loan participant feels differently about the passing of time depending on the role: If we’re the borrower, we want time to slow down because we are reluctant for the payment date to come.  On the other side, if we are the lender, then we want time to speed up to get that extra money.  Therefore, “You shall not take from him interest or increase,” because if you can remove this from your time-baggage then you will be able to better live with a sense of satisfaction.

(Leviticus ibid) “And the ones you are close with are with you,” you are not alone in dealing with a feeling of time-pressure. And you are not alone in wanting to feel satisfied with the passing of time, to feel an alignment between your desire to live a long life, your enjoyment of living and the goal of “With the length of days I will satisfy him,” that their years will be satisfying ones.

We want to live a long time but we don’t want the days to seem especially long and boring.  Nor do we want the days of satisfaction to seem too short as in the phrase of Jacob our father to Pharaoh as it is written (Genesis 47:9), “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The days of the years of my sojournings are one hundred thirty years they have been few and miserable, etc.‘” Yaakov lived long years but didn’t have enough good things in his life. As he told Pharaoh, his joy was not enough, for his few days were the good ones and the rest bad. Like Yaakov, we don’t want good times to be too sparse.

The process of “With length of days I will satisfy him” (Psalms ibid) is a satisfying of desires as it says in the psalm “he desired Me“, and not the things of the world and therefore “I will save him… I will raise him up for he knows My name,” (ibid), i.e. the tziruf / the permutation of the passing hour’s time and season, and then it evens out with the time and, the hour won’t push. “And I shall show him My salvation (ibid)”.

If we live with the sacred calendar, with ilu temporum time, with contemplation, with spiritual- or prayer-practice, if we make a space for Shabbos and Yom Tovim, then we can enhance our feeling of satisfaction gladness with time’s passing. It is a remedy to time-pressure which we feel on all sides through the demand that time’s passing be productive. Waking up and smelling the roses, living and making an effort to NOT do. With a contemplative outlook, we can join the community of those who are also living in that pace of time, in a natural rhythm which doesn’t come with time-pressure requirements.

Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman on a Tziruf of Hod sheb’Yesod in this counting of the Omer 5773

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