Is it OK for me to give up on some of my Torah learning in the evening, in order to work a little extra so that I can save up money for a trip to Eretz Yisroel?
And the answer is no. Absolutely not. The purpose of Eretz Yisroel is only for you to make something out of yourself. To give up learning to go to the Kosel Ma’aravi, the Western Wall?! If you want to go to the Kosel Ma’aravi, then you should know that the Shas Bavli is your Kosel Ma’aravi. Make the seforim shrank with the Shas Bavli in it your Kosel Ma’aravi. That’s your success.
To go to Eretz Yisroel and to stand at a wall that means nothing to you?! It’s just a zeicher of y’mei kedem. It’s a remembrance of our glorious past. It’s something, but it’s a failure. The success of life is the transferring the contents of the Shas into your mind. So stand in front of that Shas on the shelf in your living room and make that your Kosel Ma’aravi. Stand there and put kvitlach, prayer notes, in between the Gemoras and pray to Hashem. The Shas is our everything! There’s nothing in the world more kadosh, more special, to Hakodosh Boruch Hu than the daled amos shel halacha. Since the churban beis hamikdash He has nothing in the world that is more important than the Shas and our Torah seforim. So what are you thinking? To forego learning Torah for a cheap substitute?! And therefore, you don’t forego learning for anything in the world.
TAPE # 829 (May 1991)