Question: We studied in the Gemara that Hashem cries for someone who can delve in Torah study and does not do so. Why is does it say this specifically with regards to wasting time from Torah study?
Answer: Our Sages taught (Chagigah 5a) that Hashem cries every day for one who is capable of delving in Torah study and does not do so. At first glance, this requires some further explanation, for what is so significant about one who does not study Torah that causes Hashem to cry for him? Were it to be because wasting time from Torah study is a grave sin, it would have been appropriate for Hashem to punish such an individual severely; however, the Gemara states that Hashem merely cries for him!
The great Chafetz Chaim explains this matter in his Sefer Torat Ha’Bayit (page 32) and writes that Hashem is the One who knows the true eternal bliss one merits by studying Torah. The same applies to such an individual’s wife as well, for she is bound up in the merit of her husband’s Torah study as well. Besides for Hashem, there is no one in the world who has seen the tremendous bliss reserved for those individuals who study Torah. Indeed, our Sages teach us that the great reward the prophets spoke of that is reserved for the righteous in the World to Come applies only to the reward for those who supported Torah scholars. However, the prophets never referred to Torah scholars themselves regarding whom the verse states, “No eye has seen, G-d, besides for you,” meaning that only Hashem knows the true extent of the reward that awaits Torah scholars.
As the father He is to the Jewish nation, when Hashem sees an individual wasting his precious time on things that do not benefit the soul at all, Hashem cries and bemoans the loss of such great, infinite goodness from his children which can never be recovered since Torah can only be acquired in this world and the opportunity to do so no longer exists in the World to Come.
Anyone with a beating heart should take this into consideration when sitting idly in the presence of a group of people who are sitting and chatting about nonsense or when sitting around reading a newspaper, the news, and any other matter of things which are not spiritually-productive (since these things are not that integral for one’s important matters and dealings). At such moments, Hashem, who has sent the person down to this world for one’s own benefit, cries for the wasted time that one could have used to study Torah and amass boundless spiritual wealth that would have illuminated him for all eternity and brought one much honor and greatness. One then trades all this for things which do not benefit the soul at all and on the contrary, such things may actually bring about suffering and punishments as a result of all the Lashon Hara and other forbidden speech which one will eventually have to account for.
Let the wise one hear and take heed.