If Not Now

If Not Now. Sand escaping through fingers.

Lyrics

Lyrics

If not now, when?
If not now, when?
If not now, when?
If not now, when? 

?אם לא עכשיו אימתי
Im lo achshav, ematai?
Im lo achshav, ematai?
Im lo achshav, ematai?
Im lo achshav, ematai? 

If I can’t do it now, name a time when, 
And make sure that I do it then. 
If I can’t do it now, name a time when, 
And make sure that I do it then.

 

Middot 

Alacrity, Enthusiasm  זריזות  Zerizut 
Order  סדר  Seder
Responsibility  אחריות  Achrayut

Reflections on this Song

Zerizut  Procrastination is a difficulty for me, as it is for many people. Of course I’d prefer to dive into all good actions with zerizut—alacrity and enthusiasm. Yet sometimes fear, disorganization, or the weight of many responsibilities can create seemingly insurmountable obstacles and deadly delays. This song encourages me to push through those roadblocks. 

One tool in that push is to set my time in order, and then follow through with those time commitments. 

Seder  So many of us feel pressed for time these days—a full schedule, many responsibilities and projects. When a task is important, I need to commit a time, or several blocks of time, in which to do it. For example, to record this song I committed specific hours—evenings and Sundays—and kept at it, week after week. 

I’m grateful to my family for making that time possible. Their commitment to my project gives me a responsibility to use the time productively, to stay on track, to finish it, to fulfill my commitment. 

Sources

Hillel, in Pirkei Avot 1:14.

Verse three is based on an insight of Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in Taking Action, Shaar Press, 2008, pp. 206–208.

If Not Now. Sand escaping through fingers.

Time slips away, unless we use it build something.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash