Kenneth Cohen

One Day at a Time

The Torah tells us that Yakov worked for Lavan for seven years, in order to be able to marry Rachel. He was seventy-six years old at that time.

It is quite surprising that we are told that these seven years were like ימים אחדים, a few days. It would seem quite the opposite that it must have seemed like an eternity before he was able to marry the true love of his life.

Rav Avraham Twerski wrote that he learned the explanation of this verse from the many addicts that he worked with over the years. The philosophy was to take things, “one day at a time.” Otherwise, the task of becoming sober after years of addiction, would otherwise seem insurmountable. He once was told by a patient that he had accumulated over 4,000, “one days at a time.”

This message is relevant for all of us. If we look at the big picture, and all that we hope to accomplish, it can seem overwhelming. But if we were learn how to chip away at our tasks by taking things one day at a time, it will be much easier for us to reach our goal.

Yakov Avinu understood this, and his seven year wait for his beloved Rachel, actually seemed like only a few days.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at
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