Simcha's Torah Stories - Bamidbar
THE ORGANIZATION MAN
Avi, how are you?
Great, Chaim. How are you?
Fine, thank G-d. I'm on my way to play baseball. Do you want to come?
I'd really like to Chaim, but I can't right now. I have to straighten up and reorganize my room.
I'm sure that can wait, Avi. The ball game won't take that long.
Unfortunately, it can't wait Chaim. My room has been a mess for a long time. It is so hard to find things in the drawers and closets. I waste so much time looking for my belongings. I have to straighten it out once and for all. Once I do that, I'll have much more time for baseball, and everything else.
I guess I understand Avi. I just never thought that being organized was that important.
Really? Just take a look at this week's parsha, Chaim. Do you see how much time and effort the Torah takes to explain the way the Jewish people camped and traveled in the desert?
What do you mean, Avi?
In Parshas Bamidbar you will find a detailed description of the encampment of the Jewish people. Which tribe camped to the north, south, center, etc. The Torah then relates the job description of those Levites who assembled and carried the Tabernacle. Parshas Nasso depicts exactly how they would break camp; who would travel first, and so on until the last tribe to travel. Do you realize how much time and effort are placed into relating these details to us?
I never thought about it, Avi.
We all know that the Torah does not waste a single word or letter. Therefore, there must be a tremendous significance in all of this information.
What it is Avi?
Rabbi Aharon Kotler, of blessed memory, the founder of the Lakewood Yeshiva, answers this question. The Torah is teaching us the importance of organization. On a simple level, order saves time. Time is our most precious possession, something which cannot be replaced. When a moment is lost, we can never retrieve it. We can use all of our time productively if we are prepared and organized. Time is also lost looking for objects which are misplaced. So we see, Chaim, that organization and time are intimately related.
But there's even more to it. Rabbi Kotler relates order to holiness. Just think about the mitzvos that we do. Each one has specific instructions that must be performed in a particular sequence. Without that order, the mitzvah is lost. Our prayers are all arranged in a beautiful symphony of psalms and praises to G-d, one flowing into the next. Mitzvos, and the holiness they impart are impossible without seder (order). Now do you see why I must organize my room now, Chaim?
I sure do, Avi. You have opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking. Being organized and prioritized is a lot more important than I ever thought.
Now you've got your priorities right Chaim!
If two hours ago it was as long after one o'clock in the afternoon as it was before one o'clock in the morning. What time would it be now?
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