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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
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The Clock Is Ticking

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The other day, while schmoozing with a friend, the conversation (as chats often do) turned to food. My friend talked about a delicious dish she had eaten as a guest during Shavuot. She mentioned how she planned to replicate it in her kitchen, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.


She then commented that Shavuot seemed like it was just here, and how suddenly we were already in July. We both agreed that in a blink it would be August and then, in another blink, we’d be preparing for Rosh Hashanah.


We were commiserating how quickly time is flying, how fast a far away tomorrow becomes a long ago yesterday. We talked about the many plans and goals we figured we’d get to “one of these days,” and how we were letting time get away from us. We both agreed how we should make good use of our moments while we can – something easier said than done, but something we should strive for.

The following poem reflects this sentiment:


The Clock Is Ticking


Time, I’ve concluded, is both foe and friend.

It launches a beginning – but also brings an end.

It stops for no one, despite fervent pleas

To slow down, to halt, to reverse, to cease.


The clock is ticking, steady and unrelenting,

Not heeding the sorrow of those repenting.

The time they wasted, time needed to retrieve,

But there’s no U-turn, there is no reprieve.


The hands move forward, steady and resolute,

To dream of a rewind is an effort that is moot.

For despite your regrets, your sorrow or pain,

You cannot revisit past moments again.


There is no returning; there is no second chance

To fix a damaged moment, to improve or enhance.

It is a one-time gift that should be wisely used,

For there is no going back if it’s wasted or abused.


The hands of time almost seem to mock,

As they move tenaciously over the face of the clock.

No doubt they would warn us, if they could talk,

That they will not waver, they will never balk.


Time can’t be caught like a passive fish,

To be set aside and retrieved whenever you wish.

Each moment is fleeting, never to come back,

Once it is gone, it’s a moment you now lack.


The clock is ticking; time does not hesitate,

Whether we are ready or not – it does not wait.

It brings on all change, whether too early or too late,

We are at its mercy – that is man’s fate.


The hands move boldly, they have no shame,

Time is uncontrollable, a force we cannot tame.

It has no favorites, it treats everyone the same,

If it is squandered, we have only ourselves to blame.


The clock is ticking; time does not waver,

Each moment is one we should cherish and savor.

To be appreciated and used well at whatever cost,

For once it passes, it is forever lost.

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