Rav Avigdor Miller on Jews and Peach Pits

What should I do if I want to learn to love my fellow Jews, but I just don’t feel like I really love them?

Start with one person. Pick a Jew who’s not too difficult to love. And say, “I love him.” Don’t tell it to him. Say it. And say it again. And say it tomorrow again. And little by little, you’ll be surprised, there will be results. I guarantee results. I’ll give you your money back in case it doesn’t work. It’s really a poshuteh concept, a simple idea. It’s called auto-suggestion. You start with one person, and after a while you move on to the next Jew. And you’ll never stop.

By the way, I want to tell you again what we mentioned here a few times from Rabeinu Yonah. He says, בד׳ יצדקו ויתהללו כל זרע ישראל. What does that mean? בד׳ – By thinking about Hashem; יצדקו – they become tzadikim; ויתהללו – and they become praiseworthy; כל זרע ישראל – and Rabeinu Yonah explains these last three words like this: the זרע ישראל, all the seed of Israel, have potential excellence – potential perfection and greatness within themselves. You have inside of you the possibility to love Hashem and to love His people. Yes, you have it within you. But you have to bring it forth. By thinking about Hashem constantly, then little by little it comes forth. בד׳ – by thinking about Hashem, יצדקו – you become a tzadik.

This principle of utilizing auto-suggestion will bring you to greatness in many area, not only this. For instance, when you see a peach pit lying on the ground, like I saw today, you have to start saying the following: This peach pit on the ground is a remarkable phenomenon. The peach pit is very hard. You can’t open it up. Inside there is a seed. And that seed is very valuable because it’s needed to plant another peach tree. That’s why it’s so hard. To protect it from animals and people. It’s so hard that even with a hammer sometimes you can’t open it up. Nothing in the peach tree is as hard as the shell of the peach pit. Now you can see the Yad Hashem in the peach pit. Hashem wants that tree to develop another peach tree. That’s why He made it so hard. Now, think about that. You say it one time and it makes no impression. So you say it again and again: “Why is it so hard?” Each time you see a peach pit, “Why is it so hard? To save the seed inside it, in order to make another tree.” You see a peach pit again, so say it again. And after a hundred times it enters into your mind that you’re seeing the Hand of Hashem at work here.

Now, when you put that peach pit into the ground, it begins to open up by itself and the seed is revealed, and a peach tree begins to grow. How does that happen? The answer is that the two halves of the pit are pasted together with a wonderful formula, with a paste, a wonderful paste that will not yield to water and not yield to the banging of a hammer. But it yields to the fungi and bacteria in the soil. It’s מן השמים. It’s the hand of Hashem. But hearing it from me is only going to make a pale impression on your mind. You have to keep talking about it yourself. The first time you hear yourself saying it, it makes a very small impression. But say it a hundred times. Say it again and again, and by the time you’re forty, you’ll become a man who sees the Yad Hashem in the world. You will have gained a tremendous excellence. You’ll recognize on all sides of you the Hand of Hashem.

The פסוק says, והאלוקים עשה – Hashem made the world in such a way, שיראו מלפניו – so that you should recognize Hashem, so that you should gain הכרה חושית, a sensory perception, an actual awareness of Hashem. But you have to work on it because nothing happens by itself. By itself, you are a nobody and you will remain a nobody.

So, if you want to love the עם ישראל, then you’ll have to get busy loving the עם ישראל. You have to persuade yourself. Let’s say when you married a girl, everyone persuaded you to marry her. Maybe you weren’t so interested, but you married her anyhow. Always persuade yourself that your wife is the one that’s loyal to you, and that you love your wife. Keep on saying it and little by little it’ll be that way. By the time you are forty years old, you must start loving your wife.

Don’t think that what I’m telling you is דברים בטלים, just wasted words. It’s the real truth. You have to work on it. המחשבה נמשכת אחר הדיבור – Your mind follows the way you talk. That’s why it’s so important to always be saying the right words. That’s why we say the שירי דוד עבדיך. We follow Dovid’s footsteps and we say the words that he said. Of course, we don’t have the same thoughts as Dovid did, but little by little, as you say his words, the thoughts of Dovid begin to gradually enter your mind. Gradually, gradually, these thoughts enter your mind. Little by little. And that’s why it’s so important to say the שירי דוד עבדיך. Like when you say his words in davening and in Tehillim, if you think about the words you’re saying, you gradually become a new person.

And therefore, when a person learns Torah, when he learns Gemara, at first it seems like just הלכות, like technical laws. But the הלכות enter your mind and you become aware of the great principles that every mesichta and every sugya talk about. Tremendous principles of kedusha, of service of Hashem, of loving His Torah. Little by little it enters your mind. Keep on doing it and talking about it and after a while you become an אוהב תורה, you’ll start loving the Torah. And it will become מתוקים מדבש – sweeter than honey. Yes, it will become sweeter than honey, ונופת צופים and more delicious than anything else. You don’t care for any other interest in the world except for learning Torah, once you get a taste of learning. And then you’ll understand why you can’t learn Torah on Tisha B’Av.

So you’ll have to teach yourself all these good things. You can gradually become a great person if you follow this system. And anybody who wants to make any sort of progress in life should work on at least these two things. We love הקדוש ברוך הוא and we love the עם ישראל.

TAPE # E-242