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    In the third chapter
    of Pirkeh Avot
    (Mishnah 10), we

    Sleep in the morning, wine in the
    afternoon, childish chatter, and the
    ignoramus’ sitting in the synagogues –
    bring a person out of the world.

    The Mishnah here is describing a lazy
    mindset. Sleeping in the morning,
    parting in the afternoon, and wasting
    one’s time in idle, meaningless chatter –
    the modern equivalent of which would
    be spending hours on social media…
    This kind of lifestyle “brings a person
    out of the world” – it prevents someone
    from bringing a productive member of
    society, and from living a meaningful
    We are meant to work hard. “A person was born for hard work”
    (Iyov 5:7). This does not mean that

    we’re supposed to suffer. It means that
    we are so supposed to accomplish
    meaningful goals – and no meaningful
    goal can be accomplished without
    working hard. There is not a single
    successful person in any field who
    succeeded without hard work. Nobody
    achieved greatness by sleeping in the
    morning, or by spending their time
    partying and chatting on social media.
    There is a popular saying today,
    “Follow your passion, and you’ll never
    work a day in your life.” This is
    completely false. There is no successful
    professional who loves every part of his
    job. I love teaching, but I strongly
    dislike grading papers. A doctor might
    love treating patients, but he does not
    love filling out his charts and doing
    paperwork. An athlete might love the
    sport he plays, but he does not love all
    the exercises and drills he is forced to
    The Gemara in Masechet Pesahim
    (113a) makes a powerful statement: 

    Skin an animal carcass in the
    marketplace and receive wages, and
    so not say, “I am a kohen, I am a
    distinguished person, and it is beneath
    The Rabbis here are teaching us
    that nobody is beneath hard work, that
    we all have to do work that is not
    necessarily dignifying. A person
    should be prepared to work even if
    this means “skinning a carcass in the
    marketplace.” No matter what
    profession one pursues, he is going to
    have to do unpleasant work. We have to
    be prepared to work hard and to perform
    chores which we do not enjoy.
    This is the mindset that the Mishnah is
    teaching us to have – that we are here to
    achieve, to accomplish, to build, and this
    cannot be done without hard work.
    When we live with this attitude, our
    entire day is different. We wake up in
    the morning invigorated. We confront
    challenges head on, with confidence.
    We are not discouraged when things go
    the wrong way. No matter what happens,
    we understand that we

    are here to achieve, and this means we
    are going to work hard – and we are
    prepared to work hard.
    As difficult as it is, we need to train
    our children to live with this mindset.
    And the way we do this is through
    action, by having them help out at home,
    by assigning them responsibilities, by
    giving them firsthand experience of how
    things require hard work to get done.
    If we live with this mindset, then we
    will be the productive, accomplished
    people that we are supposed to be, and
    we will raise our children to become the
    productive and accomplished people
    that they are supposed to be.