Friday, April 25, 2008

Splitting the Sea

It often seems as though learning any part of Torah thoroughly is as difficult a as splitting the sea! But there is a way. We must "plunge in," by doing what we can even though the effort seems insignificant. If we persevere, we will find to our surprise that Hashem has indeed split the sea. Unfortunately, most people are too lazy even to try.

Since many people work during the day to make a living, the indictment of laziness really means that they don’t take advantage of the time available to them when they are “off hours.” If one learns with diligence, even a little a day goes a long way.

In Kelm, the schedule included a wake-up call in the middle of the night for a five or ten minute seder. During that time, the bochurim were permitted to learn whatever they wanted with a chavrusah. After some time, all of the bochurim noticed how much they were advancing because of those extra five or ten minutes of learning. The practice always fulfilled its purpose: that the bochurim would come to see the vast potential hiding within the short span of five minutes.

The Imrei Menachem of Alexander, zt”l, was once with a group of people and one of them said, “I became a talmid chacham from just ten minutes a day! I was very busy with my business, but before breakfast every day I would learn Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim for a quick ten minutes. After doing this for some time, I found that I had acquired a broad base of knowledge in this area of halachah.”

The Rebbe commented, “When I was younger, there were times when I had errands to run and tasks to deal with which took up a great deal of my time. However, I was always careful that I would sit and learn right up until the moment I left and from the moment I returned. While I was on the way, I would also be thinking in learning. Every free moment is potentially of immeasurable worth! I knew people who were such great masmidim that even on their wedding day they learned right up until the chuppah!”

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