40 in 40 · Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Forty ’til I’m forty

Time waits for no man. Or woman.

I’ve been acutely aware of the approach of a milestone birthday, watching it get closer, year after year. I’ve been so busy lately, what with the pandemic and all, that I found that my birthday is right around the corner.

Forty days away, to be exact.

Now, doesn’t it seem like an amazing opportunity to do something with that beautiful timing? Forty days until I’m forty years old. The symmetry is gorgeous. I couldn’t *not* do something with that.

And the number forty itself is imbued with so much meaning.

Forty years wandering in the desert.

Forty days from conception for an embryo to be formed.

Forty days and forty nights it rained during the flood.

Forty days Moshe was up on Mount Sinai getting the tablets.

Forty se’ah of water needed for a mikveh.

Forty sides of the world, according to Kabbalah, each containing ten sefirot.

Forty days between the beginning of Elul and Yom Kippur.

The Maharal of Prague said the number forty means cataclysmic change and new creation.

According to the Talmud (Avot 5:22), at age 40 a person transitions from one level of wisdom to the next. I’m supposed to reach the next level of binah, a deeper insight of understanding one matter from another.

And, on a different level, I love how as time passes, I care less and less about what people think and am able to focus more and more on what is actually good for me and my family.

I’m totally psyched about this milestone.

In light of this fabulous timing, I’m hoping to share forty sayings on each of the forty days until my birthday. I’ll post them on Instagram, and, if I have my act together, I’ll share them here.

I can’t wait.

—Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “Forty ’til I’m forty

  1. Hi
    I just discovered your series of posts 40 in 40. I was working my way backwards so i didn’t fully get what you were doing until I got to the beginning. Even before I understood I gobbled up each quote and enjoyed every post for it’s honesty and relatability. I too am reaching this milestone soon with G-ds help! And what a milestone it is. Thank you for sharing your insight and making it more meaningful for me.

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