As the long days of summer bring sunshine and long days full of light, we are grateful for the taste of freshly picked berries, the warmth of the sun on our faces and the smell of newly mown grass. This Psalmist has written “You have gladdened me by your deeds, Adonai, I shout for joy at your handiwork. How great are your works, O Adonai, how profound your design.” (Psalm 92:4-5).
We are commanded to set aside time in our lives for Shabbat, each week to take a day of rest devoted to giving thanks to God for the blessings of our lives and taking time to appreciate the small moments. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel speaks of the Sabbath as “a palace in time”. Heschel reminds us that “there are no two hours alike. Every hour is unique and the only one given at the moment, exclusive and endlessly precious.”
If we can be attuned to the small things in each day, we find that sense of the holy in everything, not only on the Sabbath day. This is the meaning of finding God in the small moments of our lives. It is the reason that there are blessings to say before eating, upon waking in the morning, and going to sleep at night, on seeing a rainbow, upon greeting a friend that one has not seen in more than 30 days, and more. The rabbis teach that in reciting these blessings we are reminded that every moment is precious, all part of the sacred gifts of God.
Rabbi Audrey S. Pollack is the rabbi of Temple Israel in West Lafayette, Indiana. She is on the executive board of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, a founding member of the Indiana Voices of Women leadership and spirituality group, and a writer of feminist midrash who enjoys singing and playing guitar.