Is there a difference between the advice that you give us and what you tell yourself? What I mean is – do you practice what you preach?
Let me explain something to you – an important principle. When I speak to you – I wouldn’t waste my time just for you alone. It’s in the hope that I’m hearing it as well. Yes, that’s the purpose. Agav urcha, I’m letting you listen in as well.
There’s no question that a speaker becomes influenced by his words. Rav Yisroel Salanter once said, “How can one judge the benefit of a mussar shmooze? Even if as a result of his shmooze only one person davened a better minchah, it was worthwhile.” “And,” Rav Yisroel said, “Even if that one person who davened a better minchah is the speaker himself, it’s still worthwhile.” A better minchah – any ruchni’yis – is a very big achievement. So therefore whatever you can do for yourself – whether you’re learning alone or teaching others – make sure that you’re listening along as well. You’re listening too and you’re having a benefit. Something rubs off on you. Lo yimaleit. Unless you’re epes a ramai gadol. Unless you’re a complete fraud. But an ordinary person – when he talks, he’s listening too.
TAPE E-260 (February 2001)