Even one who is not learned, who Hashem has favored that his work is done by others and he does not need to sit in a shop, or is a poor man and has no business, should sit all day in the Beis Hamidrash with the wise men of the city and acquire wisdom and ethics and fear of Hashem.
It is a tremendous shame that there are people who, when they have no occupation they spend the whole day going from shop to shop or they sit with those who sit on the street corners, and they waste their time instead of learning the Torah. The severity of the sin of wasting time which should be spent learning Torah is well known, as it is measured alongside sins like idol-worship, forbidden relationships and murder. Furthermore, they indulge in much merriment, mockery and forbidden acts, and with the increasing of such things iniquity cannot stop. One who does these things thinks in his heart that he does not perform a sin, as anyway he is not a learned man, and he therefore thinks that he has no obligation to sit in the study hall, and even if he does sit in the study hall he feels as if he is locked up in prison. About such a situation Chazal said the “Woe to the creations because of the disregard for Torah!”, for they do not even consider the Torah to be as important as financial gain or sitting in shops or street-corners. But the real and clear truth is that studying the Torah is not something extra meant for extra pious people. On the contrary, it is an explicit obligation mentioned clearly in the Mishnah, Gemorah and later Halachic sources that a person does not have the right to waste time even for a moment, and even if he has already learnt for the whole day, this does not exonerate him on the Day of Judgment because he wasted time.
Therefore, we, as Hashem’s nation, should strengthen ourselves for the sake of the honor of our Creator, and let us have pity on our souls and spirits and not waste our precious time. If in one’s town there are learned men who sit and study, one should go and spend time with them whenever one has some free time, and by so doing he will become wise and acquire new knowledge in the Torah and its Laws. If there are no learned people in his town, he should study by himself whatever he knows, (Tanach, Mishna etc.) and he should revise and relearn it until he has become accustomed to it and it will become sweet and pleasant for him. Chazal said that one who is incapable of learning and revises the same verse all day, will receive reward as if he had delved into the deepest topics in the Gemorra.