Thursday, March 10, 2011

Controlling our Secular ADD

Thank you to Dixie Yid for pointing me to a post by Mevakesh Lev today. It deals with a very important topic of distractions in our secular world. Before I got married I asked a Rav of mine if I should go back to work full time or go and learn for 1-2 years in Israel. His response was "Moshe when you can look me in the face and tell me you have used every free second you have while not working to learn Torah, then you are permitted to learn in Kollel!"

I was blown away...I walked away upset because all I wanted was validation of my hearts yearning, however this was the response from Da'as Torah! After a few days looking at my iPhone in my hand, I knew exactly what he was talking about. For me it's a daily struggle and I fight hard every day to use every precious moment I have to learn or think of Hashem.

This quote from Mevakesh Lev sums it all up for me:

"According to Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, a masmid is not just someone who sits down and learns from morning until evening. A masmid is someone who puts sixty minutes into every hour, whether it's learning, or studying! Being a masmid is someone who is able to solely focus upon what they are involved in, and is able to overcome distractions. "
May we all be zoche to recognize the value of every precious moment we have both in and out of work to learn Torah.

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Bob Miller said...

For some, diligence is a matter of discipline that can be reinforced by being in the right setting. So a well-qualified person having trouble maximizing his efficiency now might succeed better in a more ordered context, such as Kollel.

micha berger said...

I think there is an error in that translation. "...whether it's learning, or studying" -- mah beinaihu?


DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Bob, I understand your question on Marc's Rav, "why should a distractable person davka do secular work versus learning in kollel. Who says kollel won't do a better job of teaching him to focus?"

The problem is that l'ma'she, it isn't that way most of the time. Most kollel environments lack structure, and are therefore more appropriate for people who already have a highly developed sense of self-discipline.

Micha, I think he meant studying secular subjects where, like in a grad course.

Bob Miller said...

If not literally in kollel then, maybe with a chavrusa from a local kollel or yeshiva. I've seen this done.

Neil Harris said...

Great post.

Marc said...

Bob, Thank you for your comments. I do actually learn with/in a Kollel/Yeshiva most of the time and have very close relationships. The Rav that made that comment also said that people in Kollel can't even maximize their time. And I have to agree. Many times I have been in Yeshiva's/Kollel's with such blatant bitul Torah. Its a problem ALL Klal Yisrael struggles with. If each of us truly maximized every moment we had to learn we would all be different people and perhaps one step closer to bringing Moshiach.

Marc said...

Thank you Neil..Appreciate the encouragement.