Passing Phrase -

Yafa Sha'ah Achat Kodem

Literally: Better one hour earlier
Idiomatically: The earlier the better

Most of the phrase (without the word "Kodem") can be found in Ethics of our Fathers (4:17) – "Better one hour of repentance and good deeds, than eternal life in the next." This phrase here is taken from a question to Rabbi David ben Yaakov Prado (1718-1790) in his responsa "Michtav LeDavid." It is used every time you want to stress that time is of the essence.

חשוב להתחיל לחסוך מוקדם לפנסיה ויפה שעה אחת קודם

"Chashuv lehatchil lachsoch mukdam lepensia veyafa sha'a achat kodem." It’s important to begin saving for your retirement and the earlier the better. - Make that two hours.

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