How can one know whether he is spending too much effort on earning a living, instead of learning Torah?
Now if I could answer that question, I would become a millionaire; I would open an office because very many people have asked me that question during the years.
It is impossible to know. The only thing I know is that what to do about that problem depends on you. If you know what to do with your time, then you are going to begin to snatch away a little time to learn. Whatever you can get, you’ll grab.
Let’s say you have a yearning to become a kollel man. A man told me he would like to be a kollel man; he is thinking of giving up his job and becoming a kollel man. So I said to him, “You don’t need to give up your job; on Sunday become a kollel man. You don’t work on Sundays. So on Sunday morning take along lunch, say goodbye to your wife and don’t come back till Sunday night. You are a kollel man all day long and it won’t harm your parnasa.” That was years ago; he still hasn’t done it!
The answer is, he didn’t want to be a kollel-man; what he wanted was not to work!
However, if somebody is sincere and he follows this advice, so Sunday he is a kollel man. Which means, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, all year long – every Sunday he is in the kollel. He doesn’t sit behind the wheel of his car; he is in the kollel every Sunday. And he doesn’t come home till late; every Sunday, all year round.
Now his wife will protest, “What about me?”
Well, does she want to have a kollel husband or not? You have to make up your mind that that’s what you want.
If a person wants, so he begins by becoming a kollel man at night too. He goes out every night to learn. And after a while Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “This man wants to spend more time learning Torah so המקבל עליו עול תורה מעבירין ממנו עול מלכות ועול דרך ארץ – they will relieve him of the yoke of working so much for his livelihood.
And it’s surprising, but that’s the truth – you find people people today who spend part of their days every day in the kollel. But this is a zechiyeh that you have to earn by first making use of whatever is available.
TAPE # 408 (June 1982)