Importance of Fulfilling Mitzvos in Their Time

Hashem loves when Yidden do mitzvos in their proper time. Chazal teach us this in Maseches Pesachim in relation to giving the korban Pesach in its proper time on Pesach rather than waiting until Pesach Sheni. Over there is a wonderful discussion as to when we push off giving korban Pesach until Pesach Sheni with myriad details. In short, it would seem Pesach Sheni was mostly never observed, with the t’mei’im (impure) giving the sacrifice in the way it was meant to be in the proper time just in a separate place from the tehorim (pure). Whether they could eat it or not is a separate aspect to the mitzva relying on those people’s exact status at the time of being able to eat korban Pesach, some of whom would have been able to eat it and others unfortunately not able to, but at least fulfilling the mitzva to sacrifice the Pesach.

When we take this idea and think about it, seeing that it is presented as a k’lal (principle), rather than just something specifically in relation to the korban Pesach, this should lead us to a greater appreciation for doing mitzvos in the time they are meant to be fulfilled. There is a very popular moshol (parable) in chassidish circles relating to davening tefillah b’zmanoh (prayer in its time) vs not:

There was a man and wife, and the wife was very prompt with bringing the man his dinner of plain beans. She was timely every night but the husband got bored of his plain beans. One time, she ran very late. The husband started to wonder what was going on, hoping all was fine. Though she was quite late, she brought out some amazing dish with meat and shmaltz and all the tasty things that people like, and the man was very happy with this food.

So the nimshal (meaning of parable) is that the wife represents Jews, the food is the prayers, and the husband is Hashem. What we’re meant to take out from this is that through davening with extra kavana and making the davening awesome it doesn’t matter if we’re late and miss zmanim.

The truth of the matter is that the sifrei Sod have always been very medakdek (particular) about zmanei tefillah (times of prayer). True, the Rambam does pasken that without kavana one has not fulfilled the obligation to daven, but in order to hold like this the one davening must be certain that the tefillah is one that could not have possibly been with the same kavana earlier. To make sof z’man Krias Shma with the brochos every day is a huge deal, through doing it this way one really fulfills the mitzva of Krias Shma k’hilchoseiah (according to the laws), which as it says in the very beginning of Keser Shem Tov the Baal Shem directed all his chassidim to be incredibly careful to do.

Through davening on time and fulfilling all the mitzvos in their proper time, we can bring great joy to Hashem. If we run on time, bezras Hashem Moshiach will also come on time.

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