Rav Avigdor Miller on Making Torah Keva



The Rambam says that a person should make his work arai, secondary, and his Torah should be keva, the permanent part of his life. In our times a person has to work 8 hours a day, so how do you think that can be?


How can you make your work incidental and your learning a main part of your life?

And the answer is, if a person really means business then he’s going to utilize the spare time that’s available. And it’s remarkable how much time is available. Most people don’t work on Sundays. At least on Shabbos they don’t work. Shabbos is a glorious opportunity and it shouldn’t be wasted. In winter time there is a long Friday night and summer there’s a long Shabbos afternoon. People who climb into pajamas Shabbos afternoon after the seuda, and they climb out just in time for Mincha, those are people who are committing suicide. They are ruining their lives.

Motzaei Shabbos is an opportunity. Don’t just run around visiting relatives. Forget about relatives. You have one relative you have to visit, that’s yourself! It’s not selfish because life is only for that purpose – for making something out of yourself.

So you have Friday night and all day Shabbos. Even Shabbos morning before davening should be utilized. Shabbos afternoon, motzei Shabbos.

If you don’t work on Sundays, then be a kollel man on Sundays. “Oooh,” your wife will say, “at least one day a week you have to be home.” The answer is, say, “My dear, I am not in yeshiva now. The yeshiva people are going full speed ahead every day of the week and I have only one day. And that one day I should waste?!” So Sunday morning, say goodbye to your family. Take along lunch and you spend the day someplace else. Don’t go home until nighttime. Nighttime means 10 o’clock at night.

Legal holidays too. Some of you have off on legal holidays. A full day you can spend in the yeshiva.

When Hakodosh Boruch Hu sees המקבל עליו עול תורה, that a man takes upon himself the yoke of the Torah, that he means business, so He says, “Oh! I see you mean business! This man deserves more time!” So He takes off of him עול מלכות ועול דרך ארץ and things start happening; you’ll be amazed what will happen. And so, more opportunities will be presented to you to learn more and more.

But when a man looks for things to do on; on motzei Shabbos he’s busy, on Sunday he’s busy; he has no time. So Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “All that spare time you’re making yourself busy! Shabbos after davening you run to this Kiddush, this bar mitzvah, that bar mitzvah, this aufruf. Wherever you have a chance you go and sit until 3 o’clock eating and stuffing yourself and wasting time. Then if that’s the case, “Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “then I’ll see to it that you’re kept busy all your life without any opportunity to achieve for yourself.”

So the first step is to make use of the time that you do have. There’s plenty of time that’s available; Shabbos and Yom Tov, Sundays and legal holidays and weekday evenings. If you use them right, Hakodosh Boruch Hu will reward you and give you some more time.

TAPE # 470 (September 1983)