Rashi: “This comes to show that all of her days were productive”

We have learnt to add years to life, but we are becoming increasingly unsuccessful in adding life to years.

Despite the clichés − “living in the moment”; “live each day like it’s your last”; “count your blessings” − we constantly seem to be waiting for life to happen.

It’s not going to and it just did.

Just as we spend time worrying about things that never materialise, we spend more time waiting and wanting things to happen, but are often oblivious to them when they do happen.

King Solomon writes of this phenomenon in his song of songs: A prince bids his bride farewell as he leaves on a lengthy journey, promising to one day return. Every night his bride laments his absence before she goes to bed, hoping one day that he’ll come back. Then, after many years, the prince returns and bangs on his bride’s door, announcing his triumphant homecoming. Alas, she is so busy crying herself to sleep, muttering, “If only my prince would return…”, that she misses his knock. Eventually, the disenchanted prince shuffles away, despondent. At that point it dawns upon the bride that she may have heard a knock at the door. She rushes to open it … only to find no one there.

So too with life, we wait for our ‘moment’ to arrive. But when opportunity knocks, we are too ‘busy’ to hear it.

A life well lived is one lived in the present, not the future or the past.