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.
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 mincha, it was worthwhile.” “And,” Rav Yisroel said, “even if that one person who davened a better mincha is the speaker himself, it’s still worthwhile.” A better Mincha – any ruchni’is – 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. But an ordinary person – when he talks, he’s listening too.
TAPE E-260 (February 2001)