Minute 753: Waiting

Efraim was losing his patience. After all, his time was very valuable and Mr. Stern had agreed to meet with him at 2 p.m.

“I don’t understand this,” he grumbled to his associate. “How can a person tell me to be here at 2 p.m. and still have me waiting at 2:20? Doesn’t he know who I am?”

“Things happen that cause unexpected delays,” his associate said. “It doesn’t pay to get nervous, because it won’t change anything. I think you should calm down and wait patiently. This is an important meeting and you should be at your best when we finally do go in.”

“If he had some respect for us,” Efraim insisted, “he wouldn’t do this!”

“I don’t want to argue, but I think if you had more respect for him, you’d be more patient,” his associate said.

“Gentlemen,” the receptionist interrupted, “please follow me. Mr. Stern is ready to see you now.”

Often, when someone has an opportunity to meet with one of our Gedolim, one must wait for quite a while before gaining entry. Yet one waits patiently, appreciative of the opportunity to get close to someone so great. On the other hand, when waiting to see an ordinary individual, people tend to get edgy and impatient. The difference is a matter of respect. If one respects the person one is waiting to see, one appreciates the opportunity. The Torah demands that a Jew respect all other people and place them on a pedestal. The one who respects others is praised: “An honorable person is the one who honors others” (Avot 4:1). Your patience is a sign of respect for others and ultimately brings respect to you.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

A devoted rebbi puts all of his energies into developing the capabilities of the students under his tutelage. He sacrifices the possibility of a more financially lucrative career in order to teach Torah to Jewish children … If he is successful and raises talmidim who are imbued with the knowledge and character traits of bnei Torah, then the rebbi experiences his Olam Haba already in this world. (Rabbi Sholom Smith, The Pleasant Way: Adapted From the Teachings of Harav Avraham Pam, zt”l, p. 82)


Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.