Right on Time is a contemporary mussar sefer focusing on the importance of punctuality, primarily as it concerns being on time for prayer services and Torah classes.
There are “no holds barred” in this easy to read five chapter volume. Culled from both Scripture and Talmud, and reinforced with halachic sources, Rabbi Davids is not shy to say what needs to be said. He is personally and passionately on a mission to have us recognize that our conduct in this area of Jewish life might not be what is expected of Torah Jews. In fact, in one such reading he brings to our attention the words of the navi who implies that we should adopt the many good practices that the non-Jewish community has to offer (p.35). In this case, I would apply it to our conduct in the synagogue and our punctuality for services — there’s no talking in their places of worship, and they generally arrive before the prayers even begin! The fourth chapter, focusing on the importance of zerizus in mitzvos, was especially inspiring with its practical tips on how to succeed in this area.
Although subtitled as a book on “The Torah Approach to Punctuality” there is much material on the sanctity of the synagogue, as well. While the latter is certainly welcome and necessary reading, I found the frequent and unpredictable wavering between the two themes slightly distracting. Indeed, while the front cover emphasis its content as a work on punctuality, the back cover reveals that it is also a work on the sanctity of the synagogue. Nevertheless, Right on Time has won itself a respectable place in the modern-day mussar genre. It is certainly something that should be read and internalized, and thereafter, read again.
Rabbi Ari N Enkin, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a researcher and writer of contemporary halachic issues. He is the author of “The Dalet Amot of Halacha” series (6 Vol.), among other works of Halacha.