You enjoyed preschool, you persevered through elementary school, you survived high school, and you even pulled yourself through college. Finally, you were done with study, and the time had come for you to enter the "real world" (wherever that is…).

When you walked out of the school building for the last time, and entered cloud nine where there are no classes, no strict teachers and no "How will algebra help me in my life?", you might have made a silent commitment to free yourself from the bondage of study for all eternity.

A recent study corroborates that this is what many of us do. It turns out that 1 in 4 Americans don't finish reading even one book in the course of a year! We're not only talking about scientific and religious tomes, but even novels and fun non-fiction books are sitting lonely in the storehouses of bankrupt publishers.

We studied, we learned, we inquired, and we grew—all with the power of the BookTell me, isn't this a tragedy?

Jews have been called for centuries the People of the Book, and this was meant to be a compliment… We studied, we learned, we inquired, and we grew—all with the power of the Book.

Yes, of course there are many important things that need doing… Family obligations, working, and maintaining social ties all take up a lot of time. We try to be engaged, contributing members of our communities, and make the world a better place. But are we doing everything we need to do?

This week's Torah reading is titled Ki Tavo, "When you will settle." The message here is that there are times when we must settle, when we must come home, when we must forget about the world – the "real world" – and care about our own inner world.1

It is not selfish to learn. It is a need. Just like one needs to eat, sleep, exercise (oy!), and spend time with family, so too there is a need to learn, to open our minds to new ideas, explore new horizons.

And, of course, when we say study, we primarily mean Torah study. Either in the good old-fashioned book form, or through the web, which is a treasure chest waiting to cater to your every Torah-academic whim.

Yes, I know you swore that you would never step foot into a class again, so with the power of the rabbinate bestowed upon me, I hereby annul your vow.

That said, get back into class.