How do Torah leaders who don’t read secular books get their broad knowledge?
The answer is, there’s such a thing as sevara. You don’t need anything outside of sevara. The Torah gives us enough information that when applied with common sense, it lets us know all that we have to know.
Of course, I’m not saying that if you know Chovos Halevovos or if you know Tur, so you’re going to know how to repair a refrigerator. I’m not saying that. You have to learn each umnos by itself. But in general, the chochmas hanefesh, the chochmas hachaim, how to behave properly, how to live successfully, it all comes from the Torah.
Just this one piece of Torah information alone, כל ימי גדלתי בין החכמים – All my life I grew up among wise men, ולא מצאתי לגוף טוב משתיקה – and I found nothing better for the health than keeping quiet (Avos 1:17), is a wealth of knowledge. You hear that? Here’s something that’s better than vitamins, better than jogging, better than anything else. Keep quiet! You’ll live longer if you keep your mouth closed. Try it out and you’ll see; no question about it. That’s chochmas hachaim. I couldn’t even tell you how much trouble is caused by talking!
Here’s a man walking down the street, on Avenue J, and a gentile bum is standing on the corner and he says something about the Jew. He says something to ridicule the Jew. So the Jew turns around and says something back. Oooh – he made a mistake. Not only he made a mistake – he’ll be sorry he said it! Keep quiet and keep on walking! The goy will get killed eventually! A car will kill him! Don’t worry about it – he’ll get hit! Don’t answer back! If you don’t answer back you’ll live longer. That’s always a rule – don’t answer back.
And if you want to be happy with your wife – don’t answer back! The fools answer back! Word for a word, a conflagration, a fire arises! And then trouble comes! Don’t answer back and that’s all!
If your boss insults you, keep quiet! That’s your job – just keep quiet. Just keep quiet! לא מצאתי לגוף טוב משתיקה – There’s nothing healthier for the body than keeping your mouth closed.
When people look at your face, they like you right away. You open your mouth, then they stop liking you. You want people to like you? Don’t talk. Let’s say, you’re going to a wedding with your new mechutanim, walk in and don’t say anything. Just smile and don’t say a word. Don’t say a word! If you keep on walking around, talking to them, right away each one knows that you’re a nothing. As you pass by, “I’m nothing, I’m nothing, I’m nothing.” That’s what you’re saying when you pass by and open your mouth.
And how many pieces of advice like that are in the Torah? There are thousands of pieces of advice like that! If you know how to study Torah, you’ll find all the knowledge you need to live a successful life.
TAPE # E-59