What I Should I Mainly Spend Time On [#3623]

Question:

Baruch Hashem, Torah and avodas Hashem is endless. There is mussar, chassidus, halachah, Gemara, Kaballah, etc. In avodas Hashem, there is hisbodedus, cheshbon hanefesh, and so many other important areas. Can the Rav specify which points I need to think about so that I can know how to divide my time properly throughout the day, between all of these different areas of Torah learning and avodas Hashem? Is there a way for me to know which areas I should not be focusing on? Do I need to mainly concentrate on a certain area? I am certainly aware that this matter is different when it comes to each person, but what I am trying to figure out is if there are any points that are universally applicable, which I would need to think about, in order to know what my daily schedule should look like.

For example, it’s possible that after an hour of hisbodedus a day, I feel that I have actually grown, but then I have 15 minutes left to learn. It doesn’t make sense to me that a person should arrange his daily schedule in a way that makes it difficult for him to learn. On the other hand, if I would learn for an hour and only do hisbodedus for 15 minutes a day, my connection [to Torah and avodas Hashem] would be weak and superficial. A third option for me is to learn halachah, but learning halachah feels dry and unproductive for me, and I choose to learn halachah before an upcoming Yom Tov or before certain times of the year which require me to know the halachos. For now, I spend my time mainly on the area where I feel personally connected to. However, it seems to me that the area I am focusing on is not the only point which I need to be involved with, because I don’t know if it’s worth it to compromise on my time for learning and other areas of avodas Hashem.

I would be happy if the Rav can specify for me which points a person needs to take into account, so that I can decide on the proper approach he needs to take.

Also, is there any advice on how I should be dividing my schedule? For example, does a kolel avreich need to spend a half hour in the morning learning mussar, and spend most of the day learning Gemara in-depth, and then do an hour of hisbodedus at night? And would the same apply to a person who works?

Answer:

  1. Learn halachah with the intention of fulfilling it.
  2. There is an obligation to study all of the Torah [each day, break up your quest to study the entire Torah, into daily quotas].
  3. Learn in-depth.
  4. Build your power of deep and subtle intellect, and become connected with it.
  5. Attain a balance between your intellect and your emotions in general, and in particular, a balance between involvement with your intellect and your times for prayer.
  6. Attain a balance between your intellect and your actions, meaning that your actions should be stable.
  7. Attain a balance between your intellect and your times of quiet. Alternatively, attain a balance between your intellect and the time you devote to d’veykus of thinking simply about the Creator.
  8. Attain a balance between your intellect and your speech in general, and in particular, a balance between your intellect with the time you spend verbalizing words of Torah.
  9. Attain a balance between the time you spend involved with your intellect with the time you spend working on your character traits.
  10. Clarify what your personal area in Torah learning is.
  11. Attain a balance between learning your personal area in Torah learning with the time you need to spend learning Torah, with your children specifically, and with others in general.
  12. Attain a balance between the time you spend learning Torah with the time you spend on making effort to earn livelihood.
  13. Attain a balance between your own personal learning with how much you need to spend on teaching others, and with benefiting others in general.
  14. Attain a balance between the information you absorb from external sources, versus the information you get from within yourself.
  15. Attain a balance between all of the above areas, and develop an orderly system to progress with, for the rest of your life.