Reaching a goal of numbers is a standard writing device. In fairy tales, things are divided into three – ex. three tasks to achieve (look at Goldilocks and the Three Bears or The Three Little Pigs for ample use of three). But any counting will do. Countdowns are popular. Will they defuse the bomb before it counts down to zero? (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises). Or counting up: Can Scott Pilgrim defeat the seven evil exes? Will Julie be able to cook all 524 of Julia Child’s recipes in one year? Even now, Rabbis are reluctantly counting the days left in Elul to Rosh Hashanah.
Judaism, of course, wants us to count our days. “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) I have a countdown clock on my iPhone that I used to note how long until I moved. It kept me more honest about how much time was really left in reality. Websites like numberyourdays.com allow you to easily count up or count down.
We get focused on the counting. How many days until my birthday? (246 if you were interested). The value in our Teshuvah journey is what we do with those days. The great Tom Lehrer said, “It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.” The number isn’t the important thing – it is the use. While long life has value, a rich fulfilled life matters more.
Number your days and make each number count.
#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.