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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Torah Study

Why so little time to learn Torah if it


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Kislev 24, 5782
If Torah learning is so important and that’s what the world was created for, why is there so little time to learn? What I mean to say is that life is so short and the real Torah learning only really starts in Yeshiva from about 16 till Kolel about 30. After that most people need to go in to some sort of business/teaching for parnosso (livelihood). It’s only a minority who stay in full time learning and even that is not continuously. There is Shabbos, yom tov, happy and sad occasions which will stop us from learning. Also, people sleep, eat etc. which again takes off time from learning. When one gets elderly, there’s even less opportunity to learn.
Torah learning is truly very important, but all-round Torah-living (!), bringing Godliness and His morals into our eating, dress, speech, marriage, business, army, politics etc. is the main goal ("Great is learning for it enables doing"). You are correct, most of life isn't learning Torah, but living Torah, which incidentally, is for women (who aren't obligated to learn so much), who are 50% of Jews, as much as for men. That's also why the heroes of the Tanach teach us how to reveal holiness and Godliness in everything, and we don't find them learning Torah all day. Accordingly, learning should preoccupy us whenever we're not "doing", and BTW, there's surprisingly plenty of time to learn, when we utilize our time wisely (experience shows that God "stretches" time for those who request and deserve it...), and especially when we retire!
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