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Counting the Days

Parashat  Vayetze


Jacob was required to work for Laban for seven years in order to be allowed to marry Rachel. The years passed quickly for him since he loved her so much. (Gen 29:20) This observation seems illogical. When a person strongly desires something and must wait and perform many difficult tasks to acquire it, the wait feels longer, not shorter!

This verse appears to highlight the difference between someone who only values an end result and someone who also values the method of achieving it. There are people who attend university solely so that they can have a degree, in order to earn a higher salary or be eligible for the job they desire. Others, though, attend university for the knowledge they acquire there. The former will tend to feel that university takes a long time as they can only focus on the end; the latter will value each day for its lessons, and will likely feel disappointment when reaching the goal.

In general, we ought to live our lives in the second way, savouring each day for its own sake and not just waiting for the future to arrive. Our days are too few to waste; let’s make them count.

Shabbat Shalom!