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What makes Jewish time tick?

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I grew up in a home where time was always a stressful issue. Mom was usually dressed and ready to go to a party at least 24 hours before it started.

Before any vacation, you could find her suitcase sitting proudly by the back door — at least two days before we were scheduled to leave.

Then there was Dad, who had this annoying habit of sauntering into the house after a sweaty game of tennis about five minutes before company was expected. Before any car trip, you would find Dad poring over road maps while we waited in the hot car, crammed into the back seat with bags of food and melting crayons.

As an adult, I have my own quirks about time, which drive my husband crazy. I always think that it will take “just 10 minutes” to drive across town when in reality its never less than a half — hour (after you factor in traffic and a stop at the bank).

Then there’s the infamous “Jewish party goodbye” which begins with “I just want to say goodbye to . . . for five seconds” and ends up being an intimate 45 minute conversation about our kids or how that simple bathroom remodel turned into a total home makeover.

From the moment we begin to learn about life, we are taught to value and fear time. We are told: “There’s a time for everything. Don’t waste time. Not until dinner time. Time heals all wounds. Time is running out. We don’t have time for that.”

The rest of this article is available in the August 8, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

 

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