Jerusalem Wasn’t Built in a Day


Mr C. M. King was a stern man. His demeanor bore the imprint of high society; he was a cultured individual ‎and well educated. His passion for sharing guided to him to become a school headmaster. It was a good fit ‎indeed. ‎

As was fashionable in those days, he expected faultless penmanship. With his own perfect handwriting he ‎crafted practice sheets for learning cursive. Once we had mastered the basic letters, he compiled ‎sentences, idioms and epigrams, for us to imitate. I have forgotten almost all of these wise witticisms, but ‎one remains vivid in my memory:‎

Jerusalem wasn’t built in a day.‎

It was many years before I learnt that this was only an adaption from the famous adage ‘Rome wasn’t built ‎in a day’. This maxim carries an important message. It teaches us that patience is necessary in order to ‎build something large, impressive and complex. ‎

Embarking on new projects can be both formidable and exciting. In an effort to conform to the demands ‎of the endeavor, it is essential to pace one’s self appropriately to one’s capabilities. Those who undertake ‎too much too quickly, often suffer from burn-out. ‎

I treasure the following remark which I gleaned from a self-help guide. Targeting those embarking on de-‎cluttering one’s home, the author recommended the following mantra – “Your house didn’t get messy in a ‎day, and it won’t get cleaned in a day”. People are consumed by the desire to have a tidy home and in ‎desperation for the finished product they overextend themselves. This is counterproductive. A healthy dose ‎of patience, coupled with pacing oneself correctly will generate the much wanted results. ‎

On the first day of a Cohen’s active duty in the Mishkan, he brings a Flour Offering. This donation had a ‎distinct service. In contrast to standard offerings which are sacrificed all at once, half of his Mincha was ‎offered on the Altar in the morning, and the remaining half was presented that afternoon. ‎

This is the offering of Aaron and his sons … on the day when anointed: One tenth of an Ephah of fine flour … ‎half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. (Vayikra‎‏ ‏‎ 6:13)

What a great way to induct this fresh Cohen in to his new position. Work in proportion to your capabilities ‎‎- don’t bite more than you can chew. It is not necessary to complete everything at once if you aren’t ‎capable. With the right attitude you can be a contributing member to the Temple service.

Remember, ‎Jerusalem wasn’t built in a day. ‎

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