Life is controlled by time. If utilized properly, time lingers; otherwise, time evaporates into thin air. Jewish law teaches that the only thing one cannot repay back to a friend is "stolen" time.

For a variety of reasons, many Jews have the custom to abstain from studying Torah on the night of the 25th of December. What is a Torah scholar to do on this night? The individual whose every second is ordinarily spent studying Torah—what is the best way for him to utilize this time?

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn related that his father, Rabbi Sholom DovBer, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, would play chess on this night, or observe others playing and advise them on their moves.

Chess sharpens the mind. Honing our analytical skills is a valuable activity, one that will also enhance our learning.1