Make your own free website on Tripod.com
The Morning of Life

Shayna shel shacharis motzi'in es ha'adam min ha'olam.
Morning sleep removes a man from the world. (Ethics of the Fathers 3:14). The morning hours may also be understood as the early years of a person's life, which are all too often "slept away." On several occasions the Talmud states that R. Yehuda wept saying "It is possible for a person to achieve his entire world (future reward in the world to come) in one brief moment!" Why did R. Yehuda cry for this seemingly happy realization? Because he reasoned that if that person had spent every moment of his life properly, what an incredible reward he would have amassed!
Nowadays many young people go astray, into drugs and other self destructive behavior. Even if they come to their senses as adults, these years of youth, when their highest capacity to learn is available to them, are squandered and never regained.
Children mimic adults' behavior. An adult who has a graduate degree, functions effectively in a large corporation, may be thought of as mature. But if that adult lights a cigarette, or on a more broad level pollutes the air or televises indecent or violent programming as part of his corporation's lust for money, sacrifices decency and morality and is anything but mature.
The description used is "remove a man from the world." This refers to escapism. Sleeping late is the opposite of having a great dream, following it and doing something that will change the world.
Nobel Laureate S. Y. Agnon used to be roused early by his father to study Torah. His mother would implore his father, "Let the boy sleep!" His father insisted on getting his son up early, and S. Y. Agnon went on to live a long and productive life.

- based on Twerski's Visions of the Fathers pg. 170


back to home page: