King Solomon is extracting an important lesson from Nature – Timing is as important as Time itself. Clearly, planting in the wrong season, either too early or too late, will be a waste of time and resources; the plants won’t grow, and the energy expended will not be rewarded. The same applies to reaping – there is an optimal window of time for every activity.
There is a rhythm, a cadence, to which the heart of the Universe beats. We need to learn to align ourselves to it, to respect it, if we are to harness our energies effectively.
The same is true in the spiritual dimension; the inner essence of the world that we cannot perceive with our physical senses. It is likewise, governed by Time, and, thus, Timing becomes a crucial factor in our observance of Mitzvot.
This is manifest in Halacha at many levels – keeping a beautiful Shabbat with the best will in the world, accompanied by the most lavish meals, sweet singing and heartfelt prayers will be meaningless – on Tuesday!!
So, as a nation, we are inveterate clock-watchers, obsessed with time. Shema may not be said before this time, nor after that. Shabbat enters at an astronomically precise time, ushering in a hallowed oasis of Divine Time.
We have understood that Timing is crucial. This is equally so in the Business and economic environment. Cashflow, cash burn, timing of investments, divestments, expansion, consolidation, and retrenchment, are all time-related concepts that can make or break a company. Understanding where one is up to in the economic cycle, and responding in a timely fashion, is what sets apart the industry leader from the laggards, or indeed, the failures.
Read more sections from JABE's 2010 Yom Kippur leaflet: