Kenneth Cohen

Too Busy

The Mesilat Yesharim speaks of a major obstacle in doing Teshuva. It is an unexpected reason, but makes a lot of sense.

He speaks of the challenge we face in conquering the Yeitzer Hara. But the major trick that presents us with this obstacle, is that we become too busy. Who would have thought that being too busy could prevent us from making the correct decisions in life.

However, when we fill up our day with so many things, even though much of it may be foolishness, we are unable to stop and think for even a moment.

If we had a few minutes each day to pause and analyze the actions and directions we are taking in life, we would be so much more better off. We might realize that we need to get ourselves back on course. We would see that we may be pursuing or putting emphasis on the wrong things.

We see this with Pharoah when Moshe made the initial request to let the Jews out of Egypt. His insistence of making them gather straw, wasn’t so much that he wanted the work done faster. His goal was to keep his slaves so thoroughly busy, that they would not have time to think of their freedom or rebellion.

We must keep ourselves from being “too busy.” Even though we may be doing important things in life, it is equally important to slow down and take stock of where we are going, on a daily basis.

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