It happened again the other day. I got up early to run, got dressed and headed outside, while it was a little less hot and humid. As I turned on my running watch, the display read “Battery Low”. After expressing my frustration in a less than mature manner, I decided that I could do the run anyway based on having run that distance before. I did my run and everything seemed ok. Until two later when I did the run again, this time, having remembered to recharge my watch. I discovered that I had cut my previous run short by about .21 miles. Of course, a normal person would have let it go, so I did not. I made sure to tack that distance on to the end of my run, with a little more as “punishment”. Of course, the question has to be asked, would it have made any difference if I had not made up that small distance?
As a teacher, I have often been asked to explain why it was necessary for the Talmudic rabbis to add so many laws to protect the plethora of biblical laws. I often share an answer I once heard from Rabbi Nechemia Kibel (OB”M), an educator who really was like a father to his students. Back in those days, before the whole world had gone green, items that were fragile were sent by mail surrounded by Styrofoam “popcorn”. This popcorn prevented the item from breaking, in case it was jostled or even dropped. Often, when opening up such a package, I would have to wade through a lot of popcorn before I found the item buried in the middle. Surely, they could have taken out a piece or two, without any harm to the item. Perhaps a third, a fourth and a fifth as well. At some point though, one less piece of Styrofoam would have made a difference between the item making it whole versus the item showing up broken. Which piece would it have been? No one wanted to find out. So to be safe, the box was filled with the stuff.
Surely, when it comes time to run my next marathon in November .21 of a mile less will not make a difference. Perhaps I could get away with taking it bit easy. I do not intend to find out.
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