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I was woken at 3am on Shabbat!

Thursday, 9 February, 2017 - 1:41 pm

Blog.jpgI was looking forward to sleeping in a little this past Shabbat morning. We hosted guests Friday night and went to bed late, looking forward to getting some rest on the day of rest.

At 3:03am I was sharply jolted awake by my highly effective alarm clock.

I recalled that earlier, before Shabbat, I'd noticed my five-year-old son Zalman playing with the alarm, but I hadn't paid much attention. Clearly, I should have!

Couldn't he have set it for 8:03am?! Or set it any other day of the week when I could simply turn it off, roll over, and go back to sleep? Alas, on Shabbat that is not an option. On the one day of rest, I cannot mute my alarm to go back to resting—how ironic!

Moreover, this is no quick and quiet alarm clock—the type that turns itself off after a minute or two. Mine starts out quietly and becomes increasingly louder the longer it rings. 

I tried covering it with pillows and blankets—I must've collected all the pillows in the house!—but still it rang loud and clear. After 25 minutes, I succumbed and decided my best option would be to get up and begin my day of "rest".

In next week's Torah portion the Jews gather at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. This was the climax of all creation, the very reason for the world's existence. And to begin the grand event, G-d blew a shofar. When a human blows the shofar, it begins loudly, gradually weakening and tapering off. But when G-d blew the shofar, it began softly and gradually gained strength, becoming louder and louder.

G-d wants to help us become accustomed to spirituality in a way that we absorb—one step at a time. First, He gives us a small spoonful, gradually increasing it until we can tolerate a full dosage of G-dliness.

There is a tremendous lesson here. We all have to increase our spirituality daily. We cannot be content with what we accomplished yesterday. If yesterday we did one mitzvah, today we must do two. Like the shofar increasing in resonance, we need to increase the light, spirituality, and G-dliness in our lives each day.

So go out and increase the volume!

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