Embracing our days

Elizabeth Hersh is Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel (TE), and a blogger on the Jewish Light’s website (stljewishlight.com/chaplain).

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

I cannot cross off days on a calendar. Even when I am counting down to a special event or vacation, I am unable to make the slash through the previous days as midnight descends and we move to a fresh day. 

There is something unsettling about crossing off a day, albeit one that has passed. I think it relates to my strong feelings about the expression “killing time.” I am extremely uncomfortable with the notion of destroying time. Time is precious. As we are engaged in life and all that it has to offer, we never have enough of this precious commodity. To kill time is to disregard life, in my humble opinion.

Even as days pass, I still like to see the month (or year) as a whole. I like to reflect upon yesterday or think about a pleasant memory from several weeks prior. There is something complete about the days, weeks, month and years that brings me comfort. It’s almost as if crossing out days is a statement that they never were or are no longer important. 

Even as I look forward to an occasion, I am hesitant to focus too much on the “how many days until…” By doing so, I tend to ignore the present. I love the notion of staying in the moment. It isn’t always easy. However, when successful, I live my life more openly and fully. I feel healthier and stronger both physically and emotionally.

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Here’s to no more crossing off days. It seems that this is tied to my dislike of watching buildings being destroyed — but I will save that for another blog!