Sign In Forgot Password

Don’t Forget to Pause

06/29/2021 10:31:29 AM


Beth Schafer

When we have b’nei mitzvah students who in their rehearsal read too fast, we have a small wooden turtle that one of the clergy quietly places on the amud (table) to communicate to them to slow down. Sometimes I’ll suggest to them to read as if they were reading a story to a 4-year-old. As we know, b’nei mitzvah kids are not the only ones who rush. We are all guilty of it.

In a never-ending conversation I seem to be having lately regarding what things from living through the pandemic will endure in post-pandemic life, I have returned often to the idea of rushing. During the pandemic we did not contend with traffic or over-programmed schedules. We were forced in many ways to slow down. How did it feel to shift into a lower gear? I have to say it is something I rather liked for a multitude of reasons, the biggest benefit having time to be more thoughtful and more grateful; to be able to lean into relationships in a way that was not in passing, but intentional-even via Zoom.

As the world opens back up and we are busting to be on the move again, the question at hand is, “Do we really need to rush?” Rushing is exhausting. There is so much we miss when we rush. The author Bruce Feiler (Walking the Bible, Abraham, America’s Prophet) said, “Take a walk with a turtle and behold the world in pause.” As we approach this Shabbat, our built-in pause of the week, I invite you to take its “pause-ness” into the days and weeks that follow. Without the press of the pandemic and with access to everything again, behold the world and life a little more slowly. There is so, so much to notice and for which to be grateful.

Shabbat Shalom,


Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782