What is a way for a yeshiva man to prepare for a new zman in yeshiva?
First of all, tefilla – you must ask Hashem for help. Say: רבונו של עולם יהי רצון מלפניך שתעזור לי בזמן הזה ללמוד תורה מתוך הצלחה – “Hashem, please give me success in my learning this zman – and a little lishma too.” Ask for it! By the way, not only in the beginning of the zman; it’s a good idea all the time. Every day, when you’re starting a sugya, open up the gemara and say: “Ribono Shel Olam, help me.” It’s not a bad idea at all.
Secondly, make up your mind that life is short. You only have one hundred and twenty years to live and therefore you can’t afford to waste time. So make up your mind: “In the yeshiva I will talk only in divrei Torah.” In the beis medrash don’t talk about anything else. The beis medrash should be only a place of learning.
Number three: Make sure to get along with your chavrusa. The mishna in Avos (1:6) says: קנה לך חבר והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות – Acquire for yourself a friend, and judge everyone favorably. You can’t keep a chaver if you’re not dan l’kaf zchus. Many people break off from the chaveirim because of some middos. So always give him the benefit of the doubt, and try as much as possible to get along with your chavrusa. It’s very important to get along with your chavrusa. And even though he may not be such a great help in Torah but it’s a great help in your middos. Sometimes it helps you in both. Getting along with people – also with your wife – is a very big shleimus; it’s a very great perfection of character and a very great achievement.
TAPE # E-121 (August 1997)