EVERYONE KNOWS what is.
It’s inescapable, even after death.
The soul may ascend and escape it,
but not the body,
decomposing more and more each day.
We try to control it,
o master it,
but at the end of the day Time always seems to win.
It is one of the main distinguishing features of man.
Time’s continuous flow means that he really has no Present,
since the Future is constantly becoming the Past. For God,
however, Who is ABOVE time,
there is no Past or Future,
This is how science defines Time:
Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and
events that occur in apparently irreversible succession
from the past through the present to the future.
Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events,
to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them,
and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality
or in the conscious experience.
Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions. (Wikipedia, Time)
While the secular world grapples with the concept of Time—
Time has long been an important subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a manner applicable to all fields without circularity has consistently eluded scholars.(Wikipedia, Time)
—Torah teaches how to harness it.
Prayer times keep a person in touch with sunrise and sundown.
Shabbos observance requires one to bring each week to a definitive end.
Holidays make sure that a Jew maintains a handle on the seasons of the year.
Even the Hebrew word for Time itself is instructive: zman,
It is no coincidence that it is the root of words such as “mezuman,”
which means “ready,”
which means “invitation.
” If Time teaches us anything at all,
it is the importance of being ready.
Ready for what?
The answer to this question depends upon one’s understanding of the purpose of life.
If a person believes that life simply evolved with no set purpose other than to survive,
then Time is just an unfortunate liability of being human.
Life is a race to enjoy as much of it as possible before a person’s time runs out.
If life has a purpose, then Time is not the enemy,
but an ally.
It’s a fundamental element of life,
an “overseer” to make sure a person gets the job done,
and ON TIME.
It is a motivator and acute reminder that this world is only temporal,
and to get ready for the next one:
This world is like a corridor before the World-to-Come.
Rectify yourself in the corridor in order to be able to enter the banquet hall. (Pirkei Avos 4:16)
Time is inextricably tied up with the purpose of Creation.
It is NOT the enemy.
It is an ALLY.