When a person has worked on a middah – he has gone to Torah classes; he’s read seforim – but still he finds that when he’s tested that he can’t control this middah; he still gives in let’s say to temper or to taavah or something like that. What does the Rav suggest?
When a person has tried to change his character, to improve his middos, and he has read seforim and so on, and he sees from time to time that he is still lacking, what should he do?
What does a doctor do when he gave you a certain prescription and let’s say you call up the doctor and say, “Doctor! I’m still suffering from the illness”? So the doctor says, “Increase the dose!”
Maybe you’re not learning enough mussar; maybe you’re not learning enough on that subject you need. Increase the dose and there’s no question that’s going to help.
Now, sometimes new problems arise that cause new middos to be exposed. So be happy! It’s a gift to you. It’s a new opportunity to improve yourself. Sometimes all of a sudden you hear that someone is talking against you. “What does he have against me?! I never did anything wrong to him! Why is he slandering me?!”
Don’t lose yourself. It’s a glorious opportunity. It’s a gift min hashomayim. השם אלוקיכם מנסה אתכם – Hashem your G-d is testing you. It’s a test. Be calm. Don’t get angry. Don’t speak against him. And you’re the winner; he’s the loser.
If he spoke against you, the Chovos Halevavos says that he’s giving away all of his mitzvos to you. He’s giving his mitzvos away to you! Aren’t you happy? He put on tefillin. He ate matzah shmura. It’s all yours. It’s all yours! But if you get excited and disappointed so it means you’re the loser.
And so, in case a person feels that despite his efforts he has not reached the pisgas hashleimus, the summit of perfection, let him increase the dose.
TAPE # E-7