The Faster The Better

The Faster The Better

March ’99 / Nissan/5759

It only takes one experience to awaken a hurtful pain. While we sit in solitude and think about the monthly changes we make in our lives, we may often review the growth that we can see happening in our lives. Introspection is good and helps us see where we need to improve and become stronger. Yet, all the introspection in the world does not equal a moment of something staring at you – the moment of truth is unbendable and unshakeable. The experience is so vivid that it can take a hold of you and not release you until you’ve unlocked the chamber that holds the experience so close to you.

I cannot describe the pain nor the hurt that I felt. My head has flashbacks every day. I can see the nurse looking at me holding my box of cinnamon rolls and bagels “He was discharged an hour ago” is all she keeps saying. There are no tears that will undo the words, there is no rewind button. It is as is, and it is for life.

While on my recent trip to Texas I was informed that Chazan Klein had suffered a heart attack while visiting his son in Plano. We were all urged to write e-mail to show support and send best wishes to the Chazan. You can imagine my delight when I realized that I can do better than that. I was in Texas and I was going to visit him on Sunday and perhaps bring him some Mishloach Monos as well as well wishes from all his friends back in Detroit.

All Week long I designed my weekend so that Sunday morning bright and early I’d go by the hospital and visit. I even planned on driving an extra 60 miles just to stay in a hotel near Plano so that I may go bright and early. However, that Motzoai Shabbos things did not go as perfectly planned as I expected. By the time I found a hotel and went to sleep was quite late and had a very difficult time waking up in the morning. As I drove to the hospital I stopped by to pick up two foods for Mishloach Monos. I got to the hospital and saw his name was no longer on the room assigned to him. I was informed that he moved to another floor… then she turned to me and said “He was discharged an hour ago” What she did not tell me was that Chazan Klein had passed away. It wasn’t until later that day that I found out that Chazan Klein was longer with us.

I could have, should have and so on is all I could repeat to myself. Zrizim Makdimim, the early bird gets the worm is not just a cliché it is also a way of life and it hurts so much that I was not practicing that habitual behavior. It hurts so much that I want to strengthen my life to always embrace Zrizim Makdimim in all aspects of my life. I did not have a chance to say an expression of torah, a word of good will before Chazan Klein passed on. Worse yet I couldn’t ask forgiveness from him at his bedside, I was late. Late again to a moment that does not repeat itself. The pain is utterly hurtful.

Therefore, for this month’s Hashkafa I have chosen to work on myself to be early – to set my clocks ahead so that I live by a clock that always ensures my being early to everything. I want to be early to Davening every day. I want to be early to every event, every experience, I don’t want to miss not even a moment of goodness, not a moment of life. I want to experience the satisfaction of completing tasks early rather than be stuck in solitude, and pout about lost moments. May we all be blessed and work upon ourselves this month on being EARLY to everything that we set out to do on a daily basis. With this work may we all merit to stand in the front line and early to all simcha’s, great times, forever.