Someone mentioned to me that if a person puts on two garments at once it will cause him to forget his learning (see Mishna Berura 2:2). What does that mean?
We’ll explain it like this. Memory is a gift from Hakodosh Boruch Hu. And we know that Hakodosh Boruch Hu gives wisdom to wise men; like it says in the book of Daniel: יהב חכמתא לחכימין ומנדעה לידע בינה – “He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who understand knowledge” (Daniel 2:21). Now, what does it mean, “He gives wisdom to the wise”? If they’re wise, they have it already?! No; “to the wise” doesn’t mean a man who is already full of wisdom. It means that if you’re a man with good sense and good character – that’s wisdom! – then Hashem gives you more wisdom.
When a man behaves unwisely, Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “I can’t make this man wise. I’m not going to allow My wisdom to dwell in a fool.” When a man puts on two garments at once, so what happens? One of the garments, the sleeve is hanging down inside the other one. When you put on two coats at once, at the same time, so the sleeve of the inside one, is hanging inside. Your hand is not in the sleeve and you look like a fool. You’re rushing, or whatever it is, and now you look like a fool. And Hashem is not going to help you be successful in your learning if you’re going to do foolish things. You’re not the type of person to whom He wants to give the wisdom of His Torah. And if Hashem is not helping you, then you’re going to forget your learning. That’s all.
TAPE # 14 (January 1974)