A Worthwhile Way To Spend Your Time?

It is obvious that today’s world is fast moving. Every piece of information is available in our pockets, people can talk face-to-face with their friends on the other side of the world, and kids hover around on electric gadgets.  We are living in a 1950’s science fiction novella.  

This seeps into our subconscious, and many people find themselves moving from experience to experience, while still finding it difficult to take in the moment.  With all of our advancement, and the benefits that comes along with it, we also suffer the pitfalls of not being fully attached to our reality.  

This issue, however, is something that can be worked on, believe it or not, by dedicating time towards learning in Yeshivah! A person can begin to develop a sensitivity towards how we spend our time, while learning Torah.  

Time is a space in which we live our lives, and it is divided up into moments; and, it is within these moments that life is experienced.  It is easily missed, but when it is experienced you know that you have been a part of it.  The instances that make up the definitive events of our lives often take place in the most subtle and mundane experiences.  Simply commonalities, such as the way two friends greet each other with a side-ways handshake.  Picking up on these subtleties and enjoying them requires that we be attentive to our present surroundings.  

Investing time in authentically learning about one's heritage, identity and the benefits of dedicating time to discuss ones connection to Judaism, is difficult to describe in words, or replicate in any other setting. The positive impact of dedicating time and 'taking time out' to learn can allow us to live in a more conscious way.

The delusion of the world passing us by can be terrifying.  Learning Torah in a full time manner places a person at odds with the expectations that are placed on us in the outside world.  It is, in a true sense, a stepping out of the paradigm that is set for us by the world and our society.  In doing so, it becomes possible to really live in the moment.  

For example, a person is inevitably going to be faced with challenges or discomfort in their life.  It is possible to deal with this in one of two ways; we can run away from the discomfort into some sort of distraction or we can face the discomfort head on.  By choosing the latter, we are given a space to grow.  

The Yeshiva environment creates a space where a person can learn how to dive into the uneasiness and mine out the pieces of gold that are hidden beneath it. In other words, gaining practical tools in how to deal with life's challenges. What an unbelievably worthwhile way to spend ones time, gaining skills that will help one succeed in every aspect of life. Who wouldn't be interested in such a meaningful en-devour? Actually taking time out, to be able to deal with ones time and those special moments that are the sum total of our lives. 

Written by: current men's learning program student, Ben Shannon


Ben has been studying at the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem for the past two years, gaining all that he can from the amazing teachers and mentors.