Is it wrong for a yeshiva bochur to do manual labor during bein hazmanim in order to make extra money?
It’s very wrong because he has other, better things to do. It’s as foolish as could be. He spent months and months learning gemara, and now it’s going to evaporate. All that labor will go lost.
A wise yeshiva bochur spends bein hazmanim reviewing all that he learned. Even if it’s only in a superficial way. Over and over and over he should review the gemara and lock it in. הלומד תורה ואינה חוזר עליה דומה לאדם שזורע ואינה קוצר – If you learn and don’t review, it’s like a man that plants things to grow, a whole crop, and then, when the time comes to reap the crop, he doesn’t bother coming (Sanhedrin 99a). So what worth is the work that you put in during the zman? What’s going to happen to all that work if you don’t review?
So here this fool goes and he becomes a shlepper during bein hazmanim; he shleps bottles, he works hard making some money. For what? What’s the purpose? Now, if he needs the money to support himself, it can’t be helped. But if he can sit and learn and review what he learned, that’s his job in bein hazmanim!
Save yourself! All your learning is going to get lost; it’s going to get lost entirely! It’s a tragedy! You have to sit and review and review. You made an investment during the zman in yeshiva; you can’t let that investment go lost!
Therefore, I say that bein hazmanim every yeshiva bochur should be busy all day long learning and making sure that he’s consolidating all that he had labored for during the yeshiva zman.
TAPE # 796 (July 1990)