Jan 21, 2013

Learn for 20 minutes when nobody else is

Election day in Israel is like what is called in the USA a federal holiday. It is officially a day off of work. If an employer wants his employees to come in to the office and work, he must be to the tune of 200% salary for that day's work. It is for this reason that so many people prefer unstable government - the more often we have elections, the more often we have a "federal" vacation day! Many shuls and communities take advantage of the day off of work and schedule special learning sessions and shiurim for the vacationing baalebatim.

Here is a unique idea, that I like.

The polling stations are open until 10 PM. Then everyone waits, sitting on shpilkes, watching and waiting for the results, listening to all the analyses and exit polls. It is like a national past-time. Everyone does it. Nobody can wait, nobody can miss an exit poll or a word from some analysts predictions.

And that includes yeshiva students.

there is a tremendous amount of time wasted, especially right after the polls close.

Some people came up with the idea calling upon anybody willing - yeshiva student, avreich, working person, kids, etc - to dedicate 20 minutes of learning corresponding to the closing of the polls - from 9:50 PM until 10:10 PM (or of course later for those willing).
(source: Kikar)

Initiators of the concept explain that these 20 minutes are critical due to the weakness at that time in yeshivas, as Torah learning at that point is the weakest of any time because everyone is glued to the media to get election results. This will have thousands of people disconnecting from the media and have them open a sefer and learn - and thereby prevent a tremendous weakening of the Torah..

The initiators say this will not affect election results in any way - everyone will have voted already and the polling stations will already have closed.  Instead of sitting around waiting for results, everybody will unite in Torah learning for 20 minutes. The elections cannot defeat the Torah or allow for such a serious weakening of Torah.

I like it. It is brought down that one who learns at a time when nobody else is, his learning is that much more important. If this is a time that is noted to be a weak moment of learning, the learning of those who do at that time is all that much greater.

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