Is it wrong for a yeshiva bochur to do manual labor during bein hazmanim?
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? 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. That investment you made 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)
Is it proper for a yeshiva man to play ball bein hazmanin?
When we come to the subject what to do bein hazmanim, first and foremost is for him to consolidate all that he learned during the zman. The truth is, it’s going to evaporate. It goes lost and that’s a great pity. These weeks that he has leisure, he should sit down and review everything that he learned, even if it’s b’shitchiyus, even if it’s only superficially. He should go through the Gemara and know the Gemara well, even though he doesn’t remember the shiurim. Bein hazmanim is a glorious opportunity. Otherwise, next time you’ll learn the same mesichta, it’ll be almost like a new mesichta.
Now exercise is very good. What kind of exercise, I’m not going to tell you. Everybody, especially young people, when they have some exercise, it’s worthwhile. But don’t make the error of letting the time go away on bitul zman. Bein hazmanim is primarily a time for chazara. If you’ll utilize that, you’ll never be sorry. You’ll look back on your life and see that what you learned, you consolidated and it remains forever. Otherwise, it’s a tragedy to work so hard on your learning and it all evaporates; nothing remains.
By the way, when you write a question and send it up, you have to write clearly; it’s hard to read some of these questions. You should work on having a good handwriting – everybody should learn how to write English properly. You have to be an expert to decipher some of these questions.
TAPE # E-55