The Jewish Eye
Pirkei Avos: If You Are Not Learning You Better Be Working Hard!
The Mishna says (3:5) that someone who is awake at night or on the road alone and lets his mind think about trivial matters instead of Torah, deserves to die. Yet the next Mishna says that someone who throws off the yolk of Torah is hit with the burden of making a living. This implies that he does not warrant death for not learning. Does a person who doesn't learn deserve death or not?
The Derech Avos answers that if a person chooses to work instead of learn than, work he will. He will toil to earn a living and that is acceptable. However someone who chooses to goof around instead of learn; for example when he wakes up in middle of the night and there is nothing else to do except learn, he deserves to die. (Likutei Basar Likutei)
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