Kenneth Cohen

Too Busy

One of the important lessons learned while attending Yeshiva is how precious time is. There would be numerous lectures given on “Bitul Zman,” wasting time.

We were taught the importance of making a schedule that would fill up our day productively. We were told to pay close attention to the number of hours in our day that were simply wasted.

Over the years, I have marveled at a number of people I’ve met who seem to accomplish so much in their lives. They seem to find the time for everything. They manage to fulfill their various roles effectively.

This taught me that it is possible for a human being to accomplish so much, if he applies himself, and learns to maximize every waking hour. Everything comes down to our priorities in life.

All of this means that when someone tells you that they were “too busy” to call or spend time with you, it most likely means, that you are not a priority in that person’s life. It is possible and even likely, that many people have a problem allocating their use of time, but everyone finds the time, for what they care about the most.

Life is precious and every day is a gift. The years seem to fly by. There is a Torah law that tells us מפני שיבה תקום, that we are to get up for an elderly person. There is a rabbinic play on words, where it says, לפני שיבה תקום. This would mean that before we reach old age, we should “wake up.”

We must take hold of ourselves and figure out how we can live life to the fullest. We need to rededicate ourselves to serve G-d and man more effectively. It starts with not wasting time!

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at