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Ki Savo

"Then you shall say before Hashem, your G-d, 'I have removed the holy things from the house, and I have also given it to the Levite, to the proselyte, to the orphan, and to the widow, according to whatever commandment You commanded me; I have not transgressed any of your commandments, and I have not forgotten'" (Devarim 26:13).

After one finishes taking off the proper tithes, he must proclaim that he has fulfilled the mitzvahs associated with the produce. Rashi explains that this passage refers to the various tithes that must be taken. One declares that he has taken tithes according to Hashem's commandment; which means he has followed the proper order. He first removed the bikurim, then the terumah, then the ma'aser rishon and then the ma'aser sheni. We see here the emphasis that the Torah places on doing things with a seder (order).

The first step in living a life with seder is making an outline of how we want our day to look. The next step is much harder - we must keep to the schedule! There will be times when we must cut a conversation short or give up an enjoyable pastime in order to maintain our schedule. Moreover, we might have to overcome feelings of lethargy, or push off less important endeavors to a later date; lest our sedarim unravel. The rule with regard to seder is that he who is stubborn will succeed. If we let every excuse get in the way of the times we have designated, how much will we end up accomplishing?

HaRav Volbe zt"l writes that we should bear in mind that success in our service of Hashem is dependent upon maintaining seder. The Alter of Kelem compared seder to the clasp on a pearl necklace. There is no question that it is the pearls which are of primary importance. But without the clasp the pearls would scatter; leaving us with a mere string. So, too, every human is like a strand of pearls. He is composed of numerous qualities, strengths, talents, and intellectual capabilities. However, if he lacks seder in his life, then all his traits will "scatter" and he will merely be left with unfulfilled potential.

We should spend a few moments at the end of each day to assess how the day went. Did we keep to our schedule or do we need to make a stronger effort tomorrow? For years, HaRav Yeruchom Levovitz ztvk"l, the famed Mashigiach of Mir, recorded what he did with every minute of his day. We aren't on that high level just yet, but a general perusal of how the day was spent is in everyone's ballpark.

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel