Rav Avigdor Miller on Seeking Models

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Q: The Rav spoke earlier in his lecture about our obligation to become great in Hashem’s eyes. How do we start out on the path towards that goal? 

A:
First of all, a person should seek models. He should look for models from whom he can learn. Now, there are all types of models, but he should look for a model of somebody who is succeeding in virtue, a kind of model that he feels is suitable for him to follow.

Let’s say a woman. A woman should seek another woman, and say to herself, “What woman is there that I can emulate, a woman who uses her spare time for great achievement?”  There’s a woman over here, not too far from here, who is busy helping the poor. I know her, and she’s always sending parcels to the needy. She’s gathering clothing and helping families. She’s helping poor girls get married. There are a lot of good things that she is doing. Somebody might want to use her as a model.

Now some other women would like to use the model of someone else, someone who looks into seforim, who meditates on Hashem’s kindliness, who reads Torah works. Someone else might want to follow the model of a woman who writes. There are women who write, and they enrich our literature with Torah stories for children, inspiring stories of ba’alei teshuva, books that show the glory of living Torah lives. And these women are doing a big job. And there are not enough of them.

So it depends on which model is suited to your nature and what you want to accomplish. However, if after thinking, you didn’t find any model, then like I said before, consult somebody. There are good people who you can consult, who can give you guidance in your service of Hashem.

A man should look for a model as well. If he has a head, he should think, “Maybe I could become a gadol ba’Torah.” You’d be surprised, even if you start late in life, you can become a very big talmid chochom in your spare time.

Some people can find a model, a chosid. I don’t mean “chosid” in the sense of opposed to a non-chosid. “Chosid” means a servant of Hashem. He learnes how to put his heart into tefillah. He learns how to put his heart into thinking about Hakodosh Boruch Hu in the style of the Chovos Halevavos.

There are all kinds of models whom you can follow in life. Great models of service of Hashem. So you look around until you find the model who is best suited to your personality. And then you get busy working.
TAPE # 272 (July 1979