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    Did morning ever come too early, and you
    gave yourself “just five more minutes”? You
    close your eyes… and somehow five minutes
    turns into thirty.
    Maybe you had a friend, an acquaintance,
    who was feeling under the weather. You
    make a mental note to call tomorrow. But
    tomorrow never happens. Nor does the next
    day. Life gets busy. And then, your friend
    feels better. You missed out on the
    opportunity to do bikur cholim.
    How often does that little voice inside us say,
    you can do it later, there’s always
    tomorrow… only to leave us with missed
    This week’s parsha, Tzav, opens with
    HaShem instructing Moshe “Tzav es Aaron,
    Command Aaron”. Not “speak to”, or “tell
    Aaron”, but “tzav, command”. Rashi
    comments that tzav is “lashon zerizus”, an
    expression denoting urgency, alacrity, and a
    spirit of enthusiasm. Rashi continues with a
    powerful message to us, “mi’yad u’l’doros,
    for now and for future generations.” A
    message for all time. To be both passionate
    and prompt about our adherence to mitzvos.

    We are the children of Avrohom Avinu. We
    carry his spiritual DNA. The Torah tells us
    that Avrohom was a man of zerizus. When
    the three angels appeared to Avrohom in the
    guise of nomadic travelers, he ran to greet
    them. “V’yorotz likrosam, He ran towards
    them.” It was an extremely hot day. Avrohom
    was elderly and recuperating from his bris.
    Despite all this, Avrohom ran to do the
    mitzva of hachnossas orchim, welcoming
    guests. He felt the urgency to do the mitzva
    and was determined not to lose the
    We also find, that when Avrohom was
    readying himself to go with Yitzchak to the
    Akeidah, the Chumash tells us “Vayashkeim
    Avrohom baboker, And Avrohom rose early
    in the morning”. No hitting the snooze

    button, no turning over for some extra shut-
    eye, but jumping out of bed to get going to

    do the mitzva.
    Avrohom infused himself with the midah,
    the trait of zerizus. A strong desire to follow
    HaShem’s words with alacrity.
    Oftentimes, I am asked how did my mother
    a”h accomplish so much. Mother,

    grandmother, shul rebbetzin, teacher, world-
    wide speaker, author, columnist, shadchan,

    and mentor. Always available for
    family and klal.
    My answer is always the same.
    Everything she did was with zerizus,
    coupled with enthusiasm. If there was
    something that needed to be done, it
    was done now. Procrastination was not
    part of her vocabulary.
    I remember my mother raising us
    children with the message of “Kumu
    l’avodas haBoray, Get up to do the
    work of HaShem.” What a wonderful
    way to be awakened! Wake up to
    accomplish your tafkid, your life
    In the biography of my mother, The
    Rebbetzin, by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, he
    relates a story from Jennifer Gross:
    “My husband and I were honored at one of
    the Hineni dinners. Since we were the
    honorees that evening, many of my friends
    were in attendance, and I had gone on and on
    about the Rebbetzin’s incredible speaking
    abilities and how they were about to hear the
    speech of their lives.
    I was somewhat taken aback, however, when
    the Rebbetzin rose and took her place at the
    podium. Because for whatever reason, her
    speech that night was about the rooster
    and its greatness! At that point in time, I
    was still not familiar with the blessing we
    say in morning prayers — “Asher nasan
    lasechvi vinah, Who gives understanding
    to the rooster” — and I couldn’t fathom
    why the Rebbetzin had chosen this topic
    as the theme of her speech.
    “It is very important to be like a rooster,”
    she said, in her charismatic way, as my
    friends stared at her blankly, not
    comprehending why it was so important to
    be like a rooster, of all things.
    The Rebbetzin went on.
    “The rooster knows that he has to wake up
    every morning to crow like he’s supposed
    to. You will never see the rooster waking
    up and asking himself, ‘Am I too tired to
    crow right now?’ He’ll never say, ‘You
    know something, I’m just not in the mood
    to crow
    “The rooster does what the rooster is
    supposed to do, and that’s how a Jew is
    supposed to live his life!
    “You don’t wake up and say, ‘I’m not in
    the mood to keep kosher’ — we keep
    kosher! We don’t wake up and question
    the Sabbath or all the other things we do
    that make us different from everybody
    Not being familiar with the blessing she

    was referring to, I was confused and found
    myself asking, “What’s with the rooster? I
    don’t understand why the Rebbetzin is
    making such a big deal about roosters!”
    It was pretty ironic: I was being honored at
    the dinner, yet had no real idea of what the
    Rebbetzin was talking about!
    But the speech was the speech.
    When I finally learned the blessing of the
    rooster, I suddenly realized what an
    important message the Rebbetzin had
    delivered at the dinner — a message I had
    missed at the time, and only grasped later on
    — that Jews have to be the best roosters they
    can possibly be, every single day of their
    In my mind, the Rebbetzin’s speech at the
    dinner ended up ranking among the most
    important lessons I ever learned! We are
    Jews, and as Jews, we need to be the best
    roosters in the world! When I recite the
    morning blessings these days, I remember
    the Rebbetzin and how there are no excuses.
    Basically, I remember the lesson of the
    rooster and how it changed my life.”
    I find that each time I turn to Tehillim, the
    words of Dovid HaMelech resonate with me.
    “Chashti v’lo his’ma’hemoti, I hurried, I did
    not delay.” (Tehillim 119:60) The message
    of zerizus, alacrity, is one that our sages have
    transmitted to us throughout the ages.
    Pirkei Avos teaches “V’im lo achshav,
    eimasai, If not now, when.” Rabbi Moshe
    Lieber shares a story about Rav Dov Ber of
    Radoshitz. When traveling, he would
    awaken fellow lodgers by saying, “Wake up
    my brothers, a guest you have never seen has
    arrived. Once he leaves, you will never see
    him again.”
    “Who is the guest”, they would ask. Rav
    Dov Ber answered, “Today.”
    Tzav. A command to live one’s life with
    zerizus. To act quickly, and not squander the
    gift of time. And, like the rooster who never
    tarries, be ready to do Avodas HaShem and
    value today.
    As the Nike slogan reminds us: JUST DO