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Savlanut- Patience in Hebrew

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Patience is considered a virtue in Judaism, and it is often encouraged as a way to cultivate personal growth and spiritual resilience. In Hebrew, the word for patience is "salvanut". The value of patience can be found in many places within the Hebrew Bible.

In the book of Proverbs, it is written, "A person's wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11).

This verse teaches us that wisdom is connected to patience, and that sometimes we need to exercise patience by not reacting impulsively or holding grudges against others. The concept of patience is also seen in the story of Moses in the book of Exodus. When Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt, they faced numerous challenges and moments of doubt. However, Moses remained patient, trusting in God's plan and leading the people through difficult times with perseverance.



Patience in nature

From the perspective of Jewish ethics, having patience means recognizing that everything unfolds in its own time and trusting in the Divine plan. It involves learning to tolerate delays, difficulties, and uncertainties without becoming overwhelmed or giving up.


4 Principles to Develop Patience


  1. Trust in God's timing. There is a saying in Judaism, "Gam zeh ya'avor," which means, "This too shall pass." Recognizing that challenges are temporary and part of a greater plan can help cultivate patience.

  2. Practice self-control. Learning to control out impulses and emotional reactions allows us to respond with patience and composure, even in challenging situations.

  3. Cultivate gratitude. Expressing gratitude for the present moment helps us appreciate what we have rather than focusing on what we lack, instilling a sense of patience and contentment.

  4. Embrace difficulties as opportunities for growth. Viewing challenges and setbacks as valuable learning experiences can help cultivate patience and perseverance.


Patience is a lifelong practice, and we can always strive to improve upon it. By nurturing patience within ourselves, we can better navigate the ups and downs of life with strength and grace.


Patience with oneself is an essential aspect of personal growth and self-compassion. It is acknowledging our own limitations, forgiving ourselves for mistakes, and allowing ourselves time and space to learn and grow.


In another example of Jewish teachings, we are reminded that we are all human and prone to errors. The Tanach shares stories of great individuals who faced challenges and made mistakes but were given opportunities for growth and redemption. Look at the life of Kind David. Despite his many virtues and achievements, he also committed grave mistakes, such as his affair with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah. Through remorse, repentance, and a deep desire to grow spiritually, David found forgiveness and remained patient with himself as he worked towards becoming a better person.


Having patience with oneself also aligns with the Jewish concept of Teshuvah- which means repentance or returning to one's true path. Teshuvah acknowledges that chance and growth take time and encourages us to be patient with ourselves as we engage in the process of self-reflection, healing, and striving for improvement.


Additionally, the Jewish tradition places a strong emphasis on self-care and self-compassion. By taking care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being we honor ourselves as creations of God. This involves being patient with our own progress, allowing for setbacks, and recognizing that personal growth is not always linear.


In Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), it is taught, "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it" (Avot 2:21).

This teaching reminds us that growth and self-improvement are ongoing journeys. It encourages us to be patient with ourselves as we strive to make positive changes in our lives, knowing that the process may take time and require continuous effort.


Ultimately, having patience with yourself is about embracing your imperfect nature, continuing to strive for growth, and extending compassion and understanding to yourself along the way. It allows us to be gentle with ourselves as we navigate challenges, learn from our mistakes, and evolve into the best version of ourselves.


And remember that whatever you gave the day today, it was your best, and that's enough.


-N



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