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Shema: Hayom – Today

I have been looking forward to this Shabbat for a few weeks because two of my closest friends, I think of them as brother and sister, will be with us. I love looking forward to things!

I usually wake up looking forward to something. In the past, I looked forward to the next big event in my life, a trip, a visit from friends, a child’s wedding, the birth of a grandchild, something big. I recently noticed that my looking forward has changed. I no longer look forward to the next big thing; I wake up looking forward to the day. I look forward for just a moment before I say “Modeh Ani, or, “I Am A Thanker,” before I recite the words. I look forward to washing my hands before I ritually perform Negel Vasser in the morning.

I find that when I pause for just a second before I recite each of the morning blessings to look forward to reciting them, they mean much more. I look forward to wearing my Tzitzit. I look forward to wrapping Tefillin. I look forward to praying. I look forward to the chance to study Torah for a second before I open a Sefer, or holy book. I find myself looking forward to each moment.

No wonder the word “Hayom,” “Today,” constantly appears in the Torah. I used to read it as “Today, not yesterday,” something new. (Try It; You’ll Like It!) I now read the word “Hayom” as today, not tomorrow; we can find excitement in everything we do now. We do not need to look forward to tomorrow; we can find exquisite joy in looking forward to “Hayom.”

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