Yisro: Starting Your Day

I’ve been learning Megiallas Esther, for obvious reasons, and I came to an interesting Rashi that I never gave thought to.  When presenting his case against the Jewish people, Haman said that they had two big negatives going against them: 1) They don’t pay taxes, and 2) They don’t do ‘the King’s work.


What are the complaints that the left has against the religious here in Israel?  They don’t pay taxes and they don’t go into the army.


An interesting thought . . .


Rashi informs us that Moshe would go up to the mountain at dawn, as it states:

“And Moshe arose early in the morning” (Shemos 34:4)


When Rav Shach was a Rosh Yeshivah in Petach Tikvah, he would stay by one of the local residents throughout the week and return to his home in Jerusalem for Shabbos.  When he heard that his host would wake up a 4 a.m. to go to work, he asked to be woken at the same time.


The host was astounded and replied, “But the yeshivah schedule does not require that the Rosh Yeshivah arise so early, and in any event you go to bed so late!”


To which Rav Shach replied that it is inconceivable that a working man should arise earlier than a Torah scholar.  If a working man wakes up at 4 a.m. to do his work, certainly a scholar should wake up at 4 a.m. to do HIS work.


It is common knowledge that how you start your day helps form how the day will continue.   A person who slips out of bed late and slowly gets his way to the shul and somehow catches part of a minyan for davening, will most likely not have a very productive spiritual (or physical) day.


Rav Yaakov Leonard once said to his yeshivah, right before everybody left for Pesach break, that they should go and relax and "recuperate."  However, he asked that everybody continue to go to an early minyan, even if he would come straight home and take a nap.  At least, he said, a person should start off the day on the right foot.


We should also try our best, whether we are working or learning (or both) full-time, to get to an earlier minyan, rather than a later one, and to start off our day properly.


Have a great Shabbos!

Michael Winner