Idleness is a sickness. One who sits idly is considered a scoffer, for he mocks the great reward of Torah study. He is like a man that was told, “Go count gold coins in king’s treasury; whatever you count is yours.” But, instead, the person ridiculed it all and preferred to sit idly. Now, Torah study generates such great rewards because by studying the person gives pleasure to his Creator, so to speak. But a person who does not care to provide this pleasure to his Creator is counted among those who gives “no thought for the honor of his Maker,” about whom our Sages said, “It is befitting that he would not have come into the world” (Chagiga 11b).
It is painful to see how the sin of idleness from Torah has become as if it were permitted. As it is, our time is limited because we are occupied with our pursuit of providing for our families and other physical necessities. So, it would be fitting for us, whenever we have some free time to study or to listen to a Torah lecture, to seize the opportunity of giving pleasure to our Creator with both hands — for this is our only real portion from all of our toil. Yet, even on Shabbos and Yom Tov (holidays) we choose to sit in the marketplaces and streets, to stroll about or engage in idle conversation. On long winter nights people make parties filled with laughter and levity instead of studying Torah or going to a sage to hear words of Torah. Woe to us on the Day of Judgment and the Day of Reproach!
Brothers and friends! Be strong and let us strengthen each other to care about the honor of our Maker and to care about our souls so that we not self destruct. Let us return to Hashem and not lose even a moment of time, that most valuable of things. For we believe with complete faith that [God] will judge us about everything — even about the briefest moment. May God help us!