Stories We Tell: Five Minutes

Judaism has a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, of passing down stories from one generation to the next. To carry on that tradition, Stories We Tell, from, will share a new story with you every Thursday. Whether you listen while driving to work, preparing Shabbat dinner, or taking your kids to school, each episode will give you a new story to reflect on and discuss with the people in your life. Stories We Tell is a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, a leading voice in the discussion of modern Jewish life. 

One morning Lisa woke up extra hungry, and her mom told her that she would have breakfast ready in five minutes. While she waited, Lisa put on her clothes and got dressed, but the five minutes still hadn’t passed. Time was moving so slowly! Later that day, while she was playing at her friend David’s house, her mom called her home in the middle of the game they were playing to eat lunch. Time moved so quickly! Why did that happen? Jerry Kaye retells the story.

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[URJ Intro:] Welcome back to "Stories We Tell," a podcast from Judaism has always had a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, passing our stories down from one generation to the next. And here each Thursday, we share a new story with you to carry on that tradition. This week we hear from Jerry Kaye, the Emeritus Director of the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Camp. He shares the story of "Just Five Minutes."

[Jerry:] Lisa woke up one day and she rubbed her eyes -- but she was so hungry! She was so hungry, that she called out "Mom, Mom I'm so hungry! When can I have breakfast?"

Mom said, "You can have breakfast in five minutes, I'm doing a few things.".

She said, "Five minutes?".

She said, "Five minutes. That should be enough for you to put your clothes on and get your teeth brushed and get ready for breakfast."

So, Lisa went to her bedroom and put on her clothes and brushed her teeth and was all ready for breakfast. And she said, "Mom, is it five minutes yet?"

She said, "Not yet Lisa, be patient!"

And she said, "All right, but I'm really hungry. I am really hungry!"

She said "I understand. I know you're hungry, but just give me a few more minutes."

She said, " 'Five minutes,' you said!"

She said, "'Five minutes,' I said." And so, waiting for the time to pass, she put her things away and got everything all organized and was ready to come down and sit and eat breakfast. But, five minutes hadn't passed yet.

She said "Mom, when is it gonna be five minutes?"

She said, "Pretty soon, Lisa, pretty soon."

She said "OK, I hope so, because I'm really hungry!".

She said. "I know, I know.".

So she waited and waited, and finally, after what seemed to be a very long time, Mom called and said "Lisa, time for breakfast!"

And Lisa said "Oh, great!" And she ran down the stairs and sat down at her seat at the table and was all set for a wonderful breakfast which Mom had prepared and put out just for her.

Now, after she finished breakfast, Lisa said "Mom, I'd like to go out and play with my friends.".

She said "Of course. Where are you going to go?".

She said "I think I'm going to go to David's house.".

She said "That's great. He just lives a couple of doors down.".

She said "okay, okay," and she went over to David's house.

And David said "Hi Lisa. What do you want to do?"

She said, "You know what, I'd kind of like to play a game."

He said, "Great, I have a wonderful game that we can play. And you can take one side and I'll take the other side, and then by the time we're done it should be time for lunch!"

They sat down at the table with the game in between them, and all of a sudden, Mom called and said, "Lisa! Lisa, it's time for lunch!"

"Can I come home for lunch in five minutes? We're having a great time playing this game."

And Mom said, "But five minutes are up! Time for you to come home." And she kind of scuffled home, and wasn't really happy about it, but she wanted some lunch.

And she came over and she said "Mom, how come when I wanted breakfast, it took forever? And when we were playing a game, it went by so quickly?"

And Mom said, "Sometimes, that's what happens. When you're waiting for something, five minutes can feel so long. But when you're enjoying what you're doing, it can go just like that."

[URJ Outro:] After hearing that story, I'm wondering what feels like a really long time to you, and what feels like a really short time? If you want to share that with us, we'd love to hear about it. You can share it with us on social media, where you can find us at, and on Twitter our handle is @ReformJudaism. Thanks for listening to "Stories We Tell." If you enjoyed this week's story, rate and review us on iTunes. And you can always find new episodes every Thursday on, where you can also go to learn a little bit more about Jewish rituals, or culture, or holidays, and more. "Stories We Tell" is a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, a leading voice of discussion of modern Jewish life.

Until next week -- l'hitraot!