On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, the day will officially be a bit longer than usual – because an extra second, or “leap” second, will be added.
“Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, so leap seconds are a way to account for that,” explains Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.
While world experts expound the reasons why June 30th will get an extra second, Rabbi Anchelle Perl of Chabad of Mineola, NY, takes ‘time out’ to see this as a teaching moment – or second – on making every moment in life count with good resolutions and extra acts of goodness and kindness.
The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, often spoke of the clock as a “silent preacher”! It never utters a single word – yet when one looks at it and realizes that the hands of the clock (i.e. the hours, minutes and seconds) are moving continuously, this serves as a lesson in making better use of one’s time.
The Rebbe always underscored the value of time. ‘If you allow a second to pass without utilizing it, we have not merely lost the action or would-be accomplishment, we are also lacking the gift of that very second.’
Note: This teaching on the good use of one’s time by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe becomes even more significant this year, as June 30th, with its extra leap second, is the 13th of Tammuz in the Jewish calendar. On this very day in 1927, he was granted release from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia.
Twenty-seven days earlier, the Rebbe had been arrested by agents of the GPU for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire and sentenced to death, G-d forbid.
International pressure forced the Soviets to commute the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. The actual release took place on Tammuz 13, and Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a “festival of liberation” by the Chabad-Lubavitch community all around the world.