Monday, June 21, 2010

"I Don't Have The Patience For This!"

Toward the end of shacharis this morning, a man sitting one row in front of me was angrily taking off his tefillin. Yes, angrily. I don't know what rubbed him the wrong way when he woke up, or which side of the bed he happened to find himself on when he opened his eyes, (evidently the wrong one) but he was very perturbed.

He kept repeating to himself "I don't have the patience for this!" over and over, as though it were a meditative mantra or a chorus to a song playing in his mind.

Granted, he probably had something to be legitimately upset about, or so I hope, but the way he expressed himself was extremely negative and made it look like he was fed up with davening and/or wearing tefillin, which I hope wasn't the case.

Regardless of what was going on, I think it would behoove us all to stop and do a bit of inner contemplation about what this guy was doing - at least this is what was running through my mind as he very hastily stripped off his tefillin, repeating his mantra again and again.

The old adage says that "patience is a virtue," and from my own life experience, I think this is very true. No matter what situation in life in which you may find yourself, possessing a strong patient attitude will serve you well. Whether that applies to sitting in traffic, or waiting to find your bashert. Being patient, trusting that things will work out, and having emuna that HaShem knows what He's doing will only make the process of life - and dating/shidduchim - that much more bearable, and even pleasant.

Rav Simon at YU has said on numerous occasions that people today have cultivated a mindet of wanting to accomplish things instantly, and never properly develop their sense of patience. Part of this incorrect perspective is that people who are always rushing to the next thing (be that a daf of Gemara or their next shidduch) very often don't take the time to contemplate their experiences in life and absorb the lessons they've learned to then apply them to better their lives.

I've seen a lot of shidduchim bloggers that have expressed frustration and jadedness over the lengthy and frustrating process of finding their mate (and I include myself here). Some, who have been "in the parsha" for a number of years probably are justified in being a little bit perturbed be their continued unproductive efforts in successfully locating their husband/wife. Those who have been dating for a much shorter period of time (I would say a year or less) and feel that their patience has run out, definitely have a lot to work on. Granted, a person's patience isn't inexhaustable, but everyone should strive to work on him/herself to embetter this particular trait. It will serve them well during the trials of dating, the stresses of the engagement period, and certainly benefit them greatly during the ups and downs of being married until 120, G-d willing.

No one is perfect, and no one will be able to absolutely perfect their own sense of patience. Despite our human limitations, we should all strive to work on ourselves in this area - it certainly can't hurt - and we can only hope to benefit from our introspection and implimentation of a proper patient perspective in life.


  1. It's very true that today people want things instantly and patience is particularly difficult. I once learned that Rav Yisrael Salanter said that patience means to suffer peacefully/calmly (in hebrew לסבול במנוחה)- It sounds like that guy was just making his situaion worse by repeating something negative over and over to himself. Perhaps if he had muttered "I have to find the patience for this" he might have been better off.

  2. Wonderful post. Savalnut is probably one of the best middot that one can have.
    I had a seminary teacher who was once talking about how so many people don't "live in the moment" because they're always rushing into results and the future...
    she gave the example about how when people are young, they just want to graduate HS. Then they just want Seminary. And then they just want to get into shidduchim. And when they're dating, they just want to get engaged. And then they just want to get married. And then they just want to have kids already!
    And then they just want their kids to get married. And then they just want grandkids.
    And before they know it...they didn't really get to "bathe" in any particular era of their lives because they were splashing through all of them.

    It's a scary thought...


Comments are welcome, and greatly encouraged! I certainly want to foster open discussion, so if you have something to say about anything I've written, don't hesitate! I also greatly enjoy comments/critiques of my stories. But please, no spam.