“Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” – unless the “your” happens to be a boss who promised his boss a deliverable on a certain date in complete ignorance of what might be entailed in bringing that about. (“Time machine that can take us into the future and bring back a cure for cancer? - No problem! My team will have it ready by next week…”) When he discovers that the seven dwarves have not shown up, the magic wand he thinks causes things to happen is broken, reality sets in. At that point the management reflexes kick in – all problems can be solved by screaming and stomping on the peons to work harder and deliver. And so you understand why posting has been light…
Because a problem had to be solved by a development team in Europe, I was told to keep my phone handy in case they want to do a call at 4:00AM our time. I discovered something interesting. I don’t think I would be so tired if I went to sleep and set the alarm for 4:00AM -- that would at least give me a few hours of decent rest. What is worse is trying to sleep with the uncertainty of whether to wake up at 4:00 or later and whether someone will call or not. That gives no hours of decent rest.
And so we finally get to some Torah content in this post. “Vayashkem Avraham baboker…," Avraham woke up early to saddle his donkey and get underway to do the akeidah. The Brisker Rav explained that the greatness of Avraham was not that he jumped up out bed, eager to get under way to do Hashem’s command. If you would jump out of bed to go on an anticipated vacation, kal v’chomer (at least if you are the Brisker Rav) you jump out of bed for a mitzvah, no matter how difficult that mitzvah might be. The greatness of Avraham wasn't what time he woke up -- the greatness was that he went to sleep! Avraham’s mind wasn’t filled with turmoil and uncertainty; he wasn’t on pins and needles, tossing and turning through the night without any rest, thinking about the challenge of the akeidah. He got his usual eight hours, just like any other day, akeidah or no akeidah.
I need another cup of coffee.