Rav Avigdor Miller on Spending Memorial Day Weekend in the Beis Medrash 

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Q:
If a person feels like he hasn’t accomplished enough in his learning, how can you expect him to be happy working at a full-time job in order to support his family? He wants to sit and shteig and become a talmid chochom.

A:
You know, that’s the yetzer ha’rah speaking. Every night, a person comes home from work, he can take a little nap to refresh himself, and then, if he can learn forty-five minutes every night he can become a great lamdan. Let him learn, let’s say just Gemara alone – over and over again, one perek until he knows the perek backwards and forwards. He can learn it with a translation if necessary. From beginning to end he should be able to daven through one perek. If you can say it like ashrei, then you’re on the road to success. And then get busy on another perek. You’ll be surprised – after a while you’ll know whole mesichtas.

That’s only the yetzer harah speaking! What about Shabbos? What about Friday night? What about Motza’ei Shabbos? And sometimes you don’t have to work on Sundays either. There’s plenty of time to learn. You just have to start utilizing it.

What does he want? He wants to be at leisure all day long. He wants to loaf all day long. That’s what he wants. So now, he’ll go back to Yeshiva, and instead of learning, he’ll loaf all day long. No, no, don’t fool yourself. You don’t have to he sitting in Kollel to become a talmid chochom. And therefore, if you have opportunity to learn now, utilize whatever opportunity you have. כל המקבל עליו עול תורה מעבירין ממנו עול מלכות ועול דרך ארץ (Avos 3:6). Anyone who makes time to learn, even when it it is difficult to find the time to learn – someone who makes sure to learn during his free time – at night, on Shabbos, on Sundays, and some of you have off on legal holidays too, will see that, מעבירין ממנו עול דרך ארץ, Hashem will make it easier for him, and he’ll find more time to learn as a result. Make use of the opportunities that you have now! You’ll be surprised how great you can become in Torah, just by studying Torah in your spare time.
TAPE # E-173 (December 1998)