Is it proper for a Torah Jew to take a vacation from his daily schedule?
That depends on what he does with his vacation. Just to go to a place because that’s where all the meshuga’im go, what’s the purpose? Just to go travel to some beaches where they have mosquitoes that are even bigger than the ones here, is that such a metziah? You spend good money to travel to far away places, and all the brown natives over there are dreaming about America. They all want to come here. That’s what they dream about – escaping their beaches to come to America. So we see that it’s not so ah-yah-yay over there. And then maybe there are disease over there that are easy for people to catch because they’re not immune to those diseases.
However, besides for that consideration, a vacation to recuperate for learning Torah, to re-energize for your avodas Hashem, by all means. And a vacation for someone who is ill and needs to recuperate, that’s something else, of course.
But a healthy person should not take a vacation unless it’s for the purpose of utilizing his vacation time to come back to himself, to come back to the Torah, and to accomplish what he always wanted to do, but he never had the time to do it. All year long, he was pining to learn Chovos Halevovos or to finish a mesechta. But he was too busy. So now he takes his vacation and he learns the whole Sha’ar Habechina a few times. Now that’s a vacation to write home about! But just to waste time, no, that’s not an ideal by us at all.
TAPE # 918 (June 1993