with Rav Avigdor Miller
Career of Encouragement
Part I. Going Out To Your Brothers
The Greatest Man Ever
Moshe Rabbeinu, our teacher Moshe, was the greatest man who ever lived; the most successful man to ever walk the face of this earth. When it states וְלֹא קָם נָבִיא עוֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶׁה – there never rose another navi like Moshe (Devarim 34:10) it means that a great man like him never appeared. Never before or after would there be a man like Moshe Rabbeinu; he was one in the world.
אֲשֶׁר יְדָעוֹ הַשֵּׁם פָּנִים אֶל פָּנִים – Hashem knew him face to face (ibid.) פֶּה אֶל פֶּה אֲדַבֶּר בּוֹ – He spoke with Hashem like a man speaks with his fellowman (Bamidbar 12:8). He is the one who brought us the Torah. Everything stands on the shoulders of this man! And so, he is the hero of our nation.
Now, we understand that such a man, such a personality, wasn’t just chosen by Hashem willy-nilly. It’s common sense – just arbitrarily Hashem stuck His hand in and picked Moshe? There has to be a reason why he was chosen. I’m sure there are many reasons. And me, with my little head, I won’t be able to enumerate all of them; but some of them we can easily see on our own.
Tall and Strong
First of all, Moshe Rabeinu was a tall man; our sages tell us that he was very tall and imposing. Now, short people shouldn’t be insulted, but that’s how it is; a leader is somebody whom we have to fear. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 17a) says that you cannot appoint shorties to the Sanhedrin because when the judge stands up and asks, “Are you telling me the truth?!”, so his height is supposed to frighten you. There’s much less of a chance you’ll say a sheker if you’re faced with a tall man bellowing at you. And so in the Sanhedrin we had only tall men.
L’havdil, that’s why there used to be six foot policemen in New York City; the mere fact that a six footer in a uniform was standing on the corner was enough to instill fear in your heart.
And so Moshe Rabbeinu was absolutely chosen because he was very tall. He was strong too. You remember when וַיַּרְא אִישׁ מִצְרִי מַכֶּה אִישׁ עִבְרִי מֵאֶחָיו – he saw an Egyptian taskmaster who was hitting one of the Hebrews (Shemos 2:11). Moshe Rabbeinu picked up his huge fist – he had a huge fist, like a bag of flour – and he gave him a zetz. He gave the Mitzri one knock and there was a funeral right away on the spot. He was an extraordinarily powerful man.
Moshe was extremely handsome too. You remember when he was born, his mother saw כִּי טוֹב הוּא – that he was good. כִּי טוֹב הוּא doesn’t mean he was a lamdan, that he was an ilui. It doesn’t mean that he had good character; she couldn’t see that. Maybe al pi emes the midrashim will tell us that it was so, but she couldn’t see that. Ki tov means that she saw he was beautiful. Josephus, when he writes the history of the Tanach, he tells us (Antiquities II, 9, 5-6) that Moshe Rabbeinu was exceptionally handsome, that he was famous for his beauty.
You never thought about that, did you? Moshe Rabeinu was a very handsome man; he was a knockout, a tachshit – tall and strong and handsome.
But you have to know that if that’s all it was, we would never have heard about him. Because there were many tall and handsome people in our history who never made anything out of themselves. They were tall and handsome zeros. And so, that was only a little part of the story. If we really want to know what it was that made Moshe into Moshe Rabeinu we have to take a look in the Torah.
No Biography Provided
And the truth is, about Moshe Rabeinu, the greatest man who ever lived, we know almost nothing. It’s remarkable how little is told about him in the Torah. We know a little bit about his birth and then 40 years later we have the incident where he smote the Egyptian and then he went to Midyan and 40 years later when he was 80 years old, 80 years old, the Torah starts talking about him. Therefore, we must understand that all the incidents that the Torah does relate are of the most striking importance to us.
There’s no question that Moshe Rabeinu in these 80 years did a multitude of deeds. If we could have a biography, it would be a whole Torah of proper behavior and perfect ideas, but of all these things the Torah has singled out only a few deeds, a few episodes, so we must understand that these episodes are of the highest importance for us. That’s Torah for us to learn.
Now, if you look in the Chumash you’ll see immediately that the very first thing we’re told about Moshe, the first thing he did on his own after he became mature is וְיִגְדַּל מֹשֶׁה – when Moshe became an adult, וַיֵּצֵא אֶל אֶחָיו – he went out to his brothers, וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם – and he looked into their burdens (Shemos 2:11).
These words are so important that if we would cast them in bronze, just these words, וַיֵּצֵא אֶל אֶחָיו, it would be enough for us to study forever. That’s the beginning of a career. That’s the first conscious thing that we know about him. All the things that we know beforehand were things that were done to him. He was a baby. He was hidden. He was put in the basket. He was found by the daughter of Pharaoh. All these things Moshe Rabeinu didn’t do. It was done to him. What was the first conscious act? וַיֵּצֵא אֶל אֶחָיו, He went out to his brothers.
Now, let’s first understand that there was no reason for Moshe to go out and interest himself in his downtrodden brothers. He was living the life of a prince; a favorite son, the adopted son of the daughter of Pharaoh and you can be sure that there were available to him all of the luxuries that a prince could desire.
And so Moshe didn’t have any reason to go out and sympathize with the Ivrim. He was safely ensconced in the palace, an aristocrat who was exempt from all the tribulations of the Ivri, entirely free of any burden of persecution. What business does he have with those poor people who are being afflicted someplace outside of the palace?
The Jewish Patriot
The answer is that Moshe Rabbeinu had a certain middah, a certain good attitude of the mind – he loved his people with all his heart. Of course it was because he loved Hakodosh Boruch Hu but one way that this love expressed itself was by being a patriot for His people. If you study Moshe Rabeinu’s life you’ll see that’s the golden thread that runs through his entire history – he was a patriot for the Am Yisroel.
Now people today don’t understand patriotism as a virtue at all — the word ‘patriot’ has lost its value already. If you walk down the street waving an American flag, then you’re going to be the target of all the bums, of all the beatniks. The wicked liberals want to make it a crime. One day they’ll want to put you in jail for hanging out the American flag from your porch.
Now, I’m not going to say that being a patriot for America is the biggest mitzvah in the world but it’s certainly a good trait of character. After all, America is a good country. We came from countries where we were persecuted, and this country gave us all the rights. I would say we should kiss the ground of America. I was in Europe for some time; I went to study in the yeshiva in Slobodka. And when I came back, I saw even more that this was a blessed country.
But I only mention patriotism for America as an example, a weak example, of what Moshe Rabeinu was. Because when that character trait, that attitude of patriotism, is demonstrated for the Am Hashem – and when it’s done because they are the Am Hashem – it becomes elevated to one of the greatest merits that can be. To be a patriot for the nation of Hashem, that’s of the most glorious virtues of character that a Jew can acquire.
Identifying with The Persecuted
And so it’s true that Moshe was protected in the palace. He had no worries. He wasn’t lacking in any privileges. But he felt an urge to help his brothers. His mother who was hired as his nurse – she was always whispering into his ear. She told him that he’s a Yisroel; she spoke to him about what it means to be part of the chosen nation. Even when he grew up, Yocheved and Miriam sneaked in messages to him in the palace. It went into his blood and his loyalty to his people wouldn’t let him rest. It became the reason for his existence. He was fired with enthusiasm, “What can I do for them?” Yes, he was in the palace, but his mind was outside with his brothers.
That’s why when he grew up, וַיֵּצֵא אֶל אֶחָיו וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם – he went out to his brothers and saw into their burdens (ibid.). It doesn’t say וַיֵצֵא אֶל הָעִבְרִים, he went out to the Ivrim or וַיֵצֵא אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, he went out to the Bnei Yisroel. It says אֶל אֶחָיו – to his brothers.
Oh! A brother! That’s already a different story altogether. “These are my brothers,” Moshe said. “These people who are bent over with heavy loads, building with clay and being beaten, that’s my people.”
And so Moshe Rabeinu left the palace and went out to his brothers to see what was doing. וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם – Moshe Rabeinu saw into their burdens. He didn’t see their burdens. He saw into their burdens, into their suffering. You know, it’s possible to know about somebody’s affliction, but there’s a big difference if he looks into that person’s affliction. If you are able to take a wealthy man with you to the habitations of the poor and he would look at their afflictions, he’d write a bigger check than when sitting in his office comfortably and you are soliciting from him money for the poor.
And that’s what Moshe Rabbeinu did, he went out, not merely he saw his brothers laboring under the heavy burdens, but he saw into their afflictions, it means he sympathized, he felt together with them. “What’s happening with my brothers? They’re toiling, making bricks and carrying heavy loads.” And his heart began to hurt him for his brothers. He shed tears (Shemos Rabah 2:27).
The Inappropriate Prince
But he didn’t just look at them and sigh and shed tears and then go back to the palace. He couldn’t rest anymore — he saw them carrying heavy loads on their shoulders and he felt that it was his duty to do something. ‘“Let me help, my brothers. I will carry it for you. I have a good shoulder, I can carry it for you.’ And he stuck his shoulder under the load — he picked up the load and carried it.
Now, when the Egyptian overseer saw that he was appalled.“Prince! It’s not for you to help out the subjects. Please stand back. Please Prince, keep to yourself.”
But Moshe said, “Never mind.” And so Moshe Rabeinu, he’s wearing his royal garments but he’s carrying heavy loads of bricks; the dirty clay bricks are on his shoulders and he’s trudging with his downtrodden brothers. He’s carrying the load and trudging alongside them. He smiled at them! He encouraged them! And a new light shone in their eyes. The prince came out of the Pharaoh’s palace and he’s carrying our burdens! Maybe the Egyptians will stop persecuting them. And that was the beginning, the first light of the geulah. And it was the beginning of making himself what he would one day become.
An Almost Regular Person
Now Moshe Rabeinu, when he went out to assist his brothers he wasn’t a navi yet. I can’t tell you exactly what he was but you can be sure he was nowhere near what he was forty years later when Hakodosh Boruch Hu spoke to him from the burning bush. It wasn’t the same Moshe at all! When he came out of the house of Pharaoh to help ease the burden of his brothers, he was very close to what we consider an ordinary person.
And he himself never dreamed what this first step would lead him to. But that’s what the Torah wants us to know; that when he lifted the loads from their wearied and bent over shoulders and he put it on his strong young shoulders and carried the load for them, that was the first step to פֶּה אֶל פֶּה אֲדַבֶּר בּוֹ, speaking Hashem face to face.
רָאָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁסָּר מֵעֲסָקָיו לִרְאוֹת בְּסִבְלֹתָם – It was because Hakodosh Boruch Hu saw that Moshe turned aside from his affairs to see the burdens of his brothers, לְפִיכָךְ וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו אֱלֹקִים מִתּוֹךְ הַסְּנֶה – that’s why Hashem chose him to speak to him from the burning bush (Shemos Rabah 2:27).
Anyone Can Be Exceptional
Now it doesn’t mean if you go out in the street and you’ll carry suitcases for old men, or help old people with shopping wagons, that this alone will make you great. But that attitude of the mind, the desire to be of assistance, is certainly a foundation of great things. Rav Simcha Zissel of Kelm (Chochma U’Mussar 1:1-3) said that. He emphasized that this is the lesson of the Torah here, of the story of Moshe – that if you’re nosei b’ol im chaveiro, if you can encourage your struggling fellow man, that’s a big preparation to being an eved Hashem.
And it’s so important to know that everyone can be like Moshe. The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuvah declares that “any Jew can be a tzaddik like Moshe Rabeinu.” Now, he doesn’t say you could be a navi or a chacham like Moshe – there’s no use trying. But a tzaddik, an eved Hashem, you could try – it’s possible. Everyone can make a career out of encouraging their fellow Jews.
Encouraging the President
Encouragement! It’s a tremendous thingbecause everybody in the world, from top to bottom, can use words of encouragement. Even the president of America is waiting for a kind word. Believe me – if you send a postcard to Mr. … what’s his name? Send a letter to Donald… to Ronald, he’ll appreciate it.
Send a letter to Mr. Reagan, why not? I sent a postcard once to President Truman way back, he appreciated it. His assistant sent me back a thank you letter. Don’t think they ignore the letters. Believe me, the letters are appreciated. From the President down to the street cleaner, encouragement is appreciated.
That’s a very important lesson we’re learning now. If you want to take the first step to greatness, the same step Moshe our Teacher took, so you’ll go around in this world encouraging everybody.
Encouragement At Home
Now I want people to listen to that – married couples, families, boys and girls — everybody should listen to this prayerfully because in many homes people are spending their lives doing the opposite. And that’s a tragedy because the Jewish home is the scene where this great function of encouraging others can be carried out in the best possible way. There’s no opportunity to be like a Moshe Rabeinu that is as prolific, as fertile in ways of fulfilling this, as the home. And therefore the principle of encouragement should be one of the foundations of a Jewish home.
Your poor husband when he comes home tired from a day in the kollel or a day in the factory, or your poor wife after a day in the kitchen with the children, if you are willing to donate one or two words of encouragement, you must know that you’re accomplishing greatness and perfection.
Now, how exactly the encouragement is administered, everybody must utilize his or her own judgment. But there is one simple and an easy form, and that’s compliments. It’s not enough if you don’t bicker, if you don’t recriminate and belittle. Unfortunately that’s done too – it’s done all the time in very many homes, and these people are complete failures. They might be successes in other things, in other forms of avodah, but if people are belittling each other, it means they’re doing the opposite of this great career, this great mission of idud, encouragement, which Hakodosh Boruch Hu requires.
Compliment Your Spouse!
Every man who marries must keep in mind that it’s not enough that he doesn’t transgress this in the negative. It’s so easy to gain Olam Habo if a man would make it a principle once in a while to give his wife a compliment. That’s the outcry of very many women: “He never once gave me a compliment.”
Now the husband is an honest man. He’s not a superficial fellow, and he considers it ridiculous. He thinks, “She knows I appreciate everything, so what are you making me meshuga for?” But because he is begrudging in words so life goes by with lost opportunities, lost opportunities to be an eved Hashem.
Don’t Buy Her Jewelry
Don’t worry too much about diamonds; diamonds don’t make anybody happy. It’s diamond words that matter! When she makes supper, he has to encourage her. If your wife once cooked a good meal, make it your business to be profuse, to be lavish in your praise. Other things too — there’s a lot to praise there.
There’s nobody in the world who doesn’t have a craving for encouragement. And why should a housewife be different? And so, the Jewish woman who lives successfully in her house – or even not successfully, but she tries – she can be made happy even without any gifts at all. Of course, if her husband remembers from time to time to buy her small inexpensive gifts, it’s proper to do that, but it’s compliments and encouragement that matter most.
Whatever she does, he has to praise her. קָמוּ בָנֶיהָ וַיְאַשְּׁרוּהָ בַּעְלָהּ וַיְהַלְלָהּ. That’s what it says in Mishlei when it describes the Woman of Valor. “Her husband and her children arise and praise her enthusiastically.”
The Wise Wife
And a woman too, no less, must make it her business always to look for opportunities to drop a word of encouragement to her husband. Some men when they have some setback and they need consolation they cannot go home and confide in their wives because women sometimes will utilize that to put salt upon his wounds.
But if a woman would learn her role, her role as a confidant, she would become a Moshe Rabeinu. She has to assume the role of encourager and soothe the things away – to always tell him, “It’s not so bad; you’ll forget about it soon.” “That person didn’t mean it the way you thought he meant it,” or “he is wrong and you’re right and I know in the end they’ll recognize your abilities.”
That’s the job of a wise wife. That’s a חָכְמַת נָשִׁים בָּנְתָה בֵּיתָהּ; a wise woman builds up her house by encouragement and encouragement alone. And even in those things where there has to be correction, if the husband has to be corrected and improved, the best way to get results is to give an incentive of encouragement. If he does something that even looks like what you want him to do, praise him for it, and you’ll see that he’s going to try his best to do even more.
Encouraging and Smacking Children
Not only your spouse. It’s a tremendous mitzvah, a tremendous step to greatness, if you’ll encourage your children. Children also have burdens; they might not be your burdens but in their own eyes they have very big burdens. And you can put your shoulder under their heavy packages and lighten their load by encouraging them with kind words. And children who are encouraged in the home learn better. They are more neat in their habits. They are cooperative if they are encouraged.
Of course this doesn’t preclude giving a smack. A smack is a salutary thing; it has its benefits. A father is responsible to raise his children; he must discipline them. He can’t let them grow hefker like weeds. Of course in America today it’s forbidden to say such words of ‘kefirah’ but a potch has its benefits – only you have to know when and how; we’ve discussed this here many times.
But most of the time a glett, a caress, on the cheek is the best option. A kind glett and words of encouragement can do wonders. And the children too, among themselves should be reminded to encourage each other. Of course, usually they’ll look at you like you fell off the moon. “What encourage? We only bicker; we argue and fight.” But say it anyhow – it goes in, it goes in.
When children are taught to encourage each other, to say compliments to each other, and the parents do it too, then the house becomes a happy place, a place of avodas Hashem.
Encouragement In School
But it’s not only in the home. The whole world is fainting for encouragement, for kind words. There are a lot of boys in the yeshivah that would benefit from kind words. So many bochurim could use it.
And so if you’re a teacher, look around. Your pupils need encouragement. There are some who are not getting along well, some are sad, some are broken because of home conditions. Some have poverty. Some are not well. Some have difficulty keeping up with the studies. So be a Moshe Rabeinu!
Encourage your chaveirim in the yeshiva. Girls, encourage your friends in the Beis Yaakov. Not only your friends — there are many who are getting lost; they’re struggling. You know how much you could accomplish if you would say a few words of encouragement to ease their burden? There’s so much opportunity there.
Your rebbe too. He needs parnasah so make sure not to discourage him. Honor him and make him feel good. After the shiur walk over to him and say, “Rebbi, I enjoyed your shiur” – even though you didn’t. It’s a mitzvah to be mi’oded anavim, to encourage the downtrodden.
Step Toward Greatness
Outside the beis medrash too, on the street. Certainly; even on the street, even on the bus, if you see somebody who is dejected and depressed and you could say a few kind words, there’s no question that you have given a big donation.
There isn’t a human being who cannot stand a few drops of kindness on his soul – it’s a world where everyone has some problems, some worries and troubles, and every human being appreciates some kind words. If you put your mind to it, you can always find a few words to say, something to assuage, to soothe, to put some balm on their wounds and to encourage them.
That’s the important lesson we’re learning from Moshe Rabeinu’s story. Our job in this world is to leave the comfort of our palace and see what’s doing outside by our brothers, וַיַּרְא; and not only to see but to think about what you can say to ease their burdens as much as possible. And that great attitude, that’s the first step into greatness in this world and the next.
All Types of People
You know, if you watch the people walking down Ocean Parkway, right outside the door here, you’ll see that there are all types of people. Some are tired. Some are sad. Some are harried. Some of them ran out of the house before breakfast and they’re hungry. Some are thirsty. Some are dejected. The truth is that even the happy ones can use a lift.
So suppose you decided now that you’re in the mood to emulate Moshe Rabeinu and lift the spirits of your fellow Jew. We spoke together about the subject for a little bit and you want to put his great ideal into practice. Very good; why not?
Benefits of Milk
So you go to the grocery and you buy let’s say a case of J&J kosher milk, and you stand at the corner of Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway with that case; and you have a handful of Dixie cups too, and each person who passes by, you give him a cup of fresh milk.
A glass of milk is a very big thing – in case you don’t drink any milk, it’s a good idea to start. Milk supplies a person with a lot of necessary material, important nutrients for the body. It’s full of calcium. Calcium is constantly being removed from our bones as we go about our lives and it has to be replaced. Milk does that for you.
Your teeth too; the calcium and casein and phosphorus in milk protects the teeth; it keeps them healthy. And as soon as the milk goes down and is absorbed the proteins give an immediate boost to your muscles – while the casein breaks down slowly, strengthening your muscles all day long with a steady supply of vitamins – even while you sleep the casein is at work strengthening you.
And so as that cup of milk goes down the throats of the recipients of your kindness it’s giving them strength. All day long that person is going to operate with the power of the milk you poured into him. You’re making him energetic. You’re making him healthy. You’re making him happy.
The Milkman Statue
And when you do it on a public scale to very many people – you’re giving out milk to everyone that passes you by – so you’re a tremendous benefactor to Mankind. After 120 years, when you leave this life, the people should get together and put up a statue for you on Ocean Parkway and Kings Highway for all generations to see. They’ll make a little park there on the mall and all the people will have to make a detour around a statue of a man in marble, standing, pouring out milk in a marble Dixie cup. People will speak well of you forever: “You remember that fellow who used to stand here pouring us cups of milk. Ahh! That man made my day every day. He lifted a burden off my shoulders.”
The truth is he deserves more than a statue. And he’ll get it in the world to come. Just for one Dixie cup of milk he’s going to get reward. If he does it for the public, he’ll be rewarded forever and ever.
Rising Milk Prices
Now, I’m not going to be the one to criticize you if you don’t want to go through the trouble of buying a case of kosher milk and lugging it through to the street corner and standing with Dixie cups and pouring it in for each person. It’s expensive too. Milk costs a lot of money nowadays. Kosher milk costs even more. Everything costs. But suppose a man has the money to do it and he has the time but he doesn’t; will he be held accountable? I don’t know. I’m not doing it myself so I don’t want to think about the prospects.
But along comes the Gemara and tells us something that’s even better than milk. It’s true, that’s a great thing – but there’s something better. And this is something that you have to consider the prospects of not doing because you have no excuse.
Better Than Milk
The Gemara quotes the possuk from last week’s sedrah, וּלְבֶן שִׁנַּיִם מֵחָלָב — And he will be white-toothed from milk. And our sages (Kesubos 111b) put a play on words here and they say as follows. וּלְבֶן שִׁנַּיִם מֵחָלָב – Tov hamalbin shinayim lechaveiro, it is better to show your teeth, it means in a smile, to a fellow man, yoser mimashkeihu chalav, more than to give him a drink of milk.
The Gemara is teaching us that if you stand at Ocean Parkway and Kings Highway and you smile a friendly smile to people who pass by, it is better for them, better for their health, than giving them a glass of milk. It gives them a lift that milk cannot give. It makes them feel that they’re somebody. The warmth of friendship gives them such an energy, such a happiness, that it changes them from the inside out.
It could be somebody was passing by dejected. Let’s say he has been trying to find a decent job for a long time. And meanwhile the young lady with whom he was going out finally told him that it’s all off. And now he doesn’t even have carfare to go to the bay – he’s thinking of taking a long hike down to the bay and jumping in.
And as he passes by, here’s a man. It’s you. You happen to know him and give him a friendly smile. And now the whole world becomes illuminated with sunlight. You have no idea what you have done. You have given him a new hold on life. He turns around and decides to go back and buy a copy of the newspaper and look for another job. And he starts life anew.
I’m not exaggerating. People don’t realize how neglected this great principle is, how very important is the subject we’re studying now. The next man who passes you, he’s angry at what his wife just said to him before he left the house. He’s walking in the street mumbling to himself and thinking of ways to get even. He’s thinking maybe he should catch a plane to Los Angeles. Maybe he should run away and get even with her — he’ll come back the same day of course — but whatever it is, as he’s walking and mumbling in the street he’s wallowing in his troubles. And along you come and you flash him a smile.
A Turning Point
Now the gemara says if you show white teeth. Of course if you brush your teeth every day and you’re able to flash a white smile, it’s better. But any kind. Even a yellow smile, a brown smile, is still a very great thing. It gives him a lift.
Don’t you know how many times – if you lived a long time, you look back how many times in your career a smile was the turning point. You know how much courage you get from a smile?
It’s really important for us to study this subject, to think about it, because it happens all the time – it’s so easy to bestow this happiness on people. You walk into your office in the morning and you have a bright smile for each person. You don’t just walk through haughtily and ignore everybody and just go to your office. People think that you don’t like them. As you walk through, smile at each person. And there’s no question you’ll get a mitzvah. In your own little way, you’re like Moshe Rabeinu.
I’m not telling you to put your shoulder under his packages. I’m not saying you should go to buy milk and distribute it in Flatbush. Smile at him, that’s it! It’s so easy and it’s more important than a glass of milk. And so, how accountable is a man who refuses to smile, to show his white teeth.
Now, don’t tell me people are too grouchy. Look, if somebody is coming toward you with a club, naturally you’re not going to encourage him, but if he’s passing you with a scowl, you muster enough presence of mind to smile to him. Like it says in Pirkei Avos hevey mekabel es kol ha’adam besimchah, greet every man with simchah. Every man means even Mr. Sour Face. Actually he needs it more than anyone else.
You can bestow happiness in the form of a little sunshine from your face, and that’s better than a glass of milk. People need a lift. A lot of people are carrying around hurt in their heart and they need this. It’s a career that will make a man successful in this world.
Really Big Smiles
That’s how Moshe Rabeinu began his career of greatness – by means of encouraging and smiling at his brothers – and that’s how we all can begin. “Any Jew can be a tzaddik like Moshe Rabeinu; he can try at least by means of encouraging and assisting others.
And once a person activates that middah down below, he’s going to be rewarded in the same measure. It says b’middah she’adam moded, modedin lo, the way a man behaves to others, that’s the way Hashem behaves to him. Only Hakadosh Baruch Hu’s measures are bigger than ours.
And so, if you’ll cause your face to shine upon other people, Hashem will smile on you too. You hear that? Just think about that when you want to do it. When you turn on the sunshine and smile at somebody, you have to know that above Hakodosh Boruch Hu is going to turn the sunshine on you. He’ll smile to you too. And when He smiles, all good things come.
Have A Wonderful Shabbos
Taking The First Step to Greatness
Every Jew should strive to be like Moshe Rabeinu. The first step that lifted Moshe up onto the ladder of Greatness was that he looked into the suffering of others and did whatever he could to help them. While handing out milk is beneficial to people, smiling at them is even better. This week I will bli neder consciously smile at three people every day in order to brighten up their world.