August 20, 2011 | by

I've always been told that every moment I have is precious. There's also the concept of being able to relax. So am I able to relax once in awhile? Or should I constantly think "achievement" all the time?! Sometimes I waste time, but I need to get my mind off things, and maybe watch a movie or whatever for relaxation. Is that okay?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

Which is more important: five minutes or five cents? Everyone will say that "time" is more important. But still we throw it away more often than money. And in Jewish consciousness, killing time is suicide... on the installment plan.

The Talmud (Avot 6:6) speaks about "constant study." Does this mean always having a book in front of you? Of course not, that's absurd. What about sleeping?! Rather, "constant study" means that when you sleep in order to live more productively, then the sleep becomes part of the work. So too, eating, exercise, etc. - if done for the right purpose - contribute to the overall effort of growth and achievement in life.

So in answer to your question, of course it's okay to relax. But in Jewish terms, relaxing means you change gears. It's not quitting. It's growth. Your relaxation should be purposeful and directed. But don't space out. Don't let your mind shut down.

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