Keep it Up - Parshat Tetzaveh
Consistency and persistence. Such beautiful words. Yet sometimes they are the most difficult concepts for us to actually follow through on. Just look at the accompanying picture of New Year's resolutions. Just copy, paste, and occasionally edit. The same ideas repeat themselves year after year after year.
That is perhaps exactly the reason that the Torah in this week's parsha points out the importance of persistence – not once but twice – in the beginning and close to the end of the parsha. In the beginning of Parshat Tetzaveh, we read about the olive oil being used 'to always light the candle'.1 Rashi explains that the word 'always' means daily. Near the end of the parsha, we read that one of the sacrifices is to be brought every morning.2 One of the rabbis even comments on this second verse that this is one of the most vital pesukim in the entire Torah. Its importance lies in the fact that there is stability and a constant reminder of our purpose.
Having a purpose in life is our main motivating force.3 This is what gets us out of bed in the morning and helps us deal with whatever life has to throw at us - whether a fastball, a curve, a knuckler or a change of pace.3 Keeping to our path is not the only way we have of dealing with these changes or surprises. Nor are we to ignore what is going on around us that is challenging us physically, emotionally or existentially because we claim to have a 'higher purpose'. Yet it does give us the strength and the belief that there is a way to face whatever difficulty we may be facing at the time.
Our routine in itself may not be very routine. In some cases it even can interfere in our search for a meaningful life. It is our responsibility to discern that for ourselves and if necessary make the changes that will lead us towards that meaningful life. 'Keeping it up' does not only refer to building our own personal routine but demands of us to include those activities which will strengthen and improve us and showing flexibility and creativity when necessary as well.
In fact, keeping it up, creating for ourselves a life filled with meaning, no matter what our circumstance, is what will help us through the difficult times and help us appreciate even more the good times.
Have A Great Shabbat!