Manny Tiebloom’s passing made me press the pause button and think…and reflect on a verse from the book of Psalms 90:12
למנות ימינו כן הודע ונבא לבב חכמה
we read למנות ימינו “teach us to count our days rightly so that we may obtain a wise heart.” What is the connection between valuing our days and creating a wise heart? So many of us rush through our days, busy and overwhelmed with life’s tasks, obligations, and work. We struggle to complete all of our obligations at work and at home, rushing children from this activity to the next, and before we know it the day is over. We get into bed and rest just enough to start it all again the next day.
I invite you to press the pause button on our life for a second.
Wait. Breathe. Count to ten. Breathe again. Pay attention to this day. Today. How is your day going to be? How are you going to make today meaningful? Once this day is done, it will not happen again. It may be a cliché, but that is why today is called the present. Treat it like one. How would you treat a gift? Treat it gently. Go beyond today—how is your week going to be? When God counted the Israelites time and time again in the book of Numbers, many rabbis interpreted it to mean that God loves us so much he counts us several times, wanting to make sure no one is missing. What if we do the same thing with our days? Let’s love our days, just like Manny did. Oh, gosh- his life was not easy but when you saw him in shul, dancing and rejoicing with the Torah or when he sang his very famous happy birthday to each and everyone of the congregants– you knew he valued his days. Let us not only count the days but make every day count!
Here are a couple of recordings of this particular verse composed by the late Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield, sung by both female and male lead singers-its called Treasure each day.