Is it wrong to take one’s family on summer vacation?
It depends where and for what reason. If you’re taking them to a place like a frum bungalow colony where your older children will be able to learn all the time, the younger ones will be in a good environment and you’ll be able to be oisek in avodas Hashem – then why not? But if it’s just going away to stop learning – no!
I want to tell you something. This whole business of vacations is not a Jewish business. In Europe the Yeshivas didn’t have any vacations in the summer time. They continued summer and winter exactly the same. And that’s how it should be. How can you take a vacation from shleimus, from perfection, from learning Torah? If the Yeshivas close down for the summer then all the Yeshiva men should make it their business to sit and learn all day long. Review. And review. Otherwise, whatever you learned you forget and the next time you look at the misechtah it’s like a new misechtah. It’s a pity. Spend the summer time learning and learning and learning. That’s our life – “Ki heim chayeinu.”
Of course you should always get fresh air. Even in the winter time. Every day you should take a walk – a brisk walk for a half hour or so. Always, always do what you can for your health. And I don’t say that you can’t go to the country. Go – but only if it’s going to help you in ruchniyis. If it’s only in gashmiyis, but in ruchniyis there’s going to be a loss, then it doesn’t pay to sacrifice so much.
Some people have achieved so much in the summer time – so much. They sit and they learn all the time. School teachers have vacation all summer long – so they sit in the country for two months and learn. Ok. Why not? Nothing wrong with the country.
But otherwise our main criteria should always be – what’s the best for my neshama. And what’s the best for the neshama of my children.