Rx for Boredom (although not a cure for COVID-19)

Question

Dear Rabbi, with current quarantine for the COVID-19, I’m really starting to get bored. Any guidance from a Jewish point of view? Thanks and be well.

, 8 months

Answers

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful well-wishes, and I hope you stay well as well.

    I don’t mean to be off topic, but I think that many people seem to be bored with their lives in normal times. Of course, most people have jobs or go to school, but many have contacted me about being bored in their time off — and also sometimes when they are at work or at school!

    What do they usually do when they’re bored? Some look for diversion in activities such as swimming with sharks, bungee jumping and extreme sports. Others obsessively pursue whatever is new – fashion, music, or hi-tech gadgets. These activities and others may provide a temporary respite from their boredom. But doing this doesn’t really solve the problem because it doesn’t address the real issue.

    What is the real issue? In my opinion, boredom really stems not from a lack of novelty, but from a lack of appreciation of life itself and all of life’s blessings. A person who takes pleasure in his very existence, who savors the beauty of the natural world and the richness of human relationships, is unlikely to be bored or to take anything for granted.

    A young child finds the world endlessly fascinating. But even the child’s sense of wonder often erodes in adulthood. Through the recitations of blessings, however, Judaism tries to help us retain this unspoiled perspective and increases our appreciation for the pleasure and wonder of life.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team