Love of Hashem is not a natural state, because you naturally love only those things that cause you pleasure. Since we don’t see Hashem with our eyes, it is therefore materialistically impossible for a person to love Hashem. Only by studying the subject and utilizing the stratagems that bring this love into the heart can it be achieved. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
The world is exerting tremendous influence to completely hide the truth. Anyone who reads a newspaper or listens to the radio will observe that they talk about everything that happens in the world except for the Creator of the world. The primary cause of every cause and effect is not mentioned in a newspaper or on the radio. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
In Krias Shema, we say, “And you shall love Hashem your G-d.” Do you have any love to Hashem at all? Explain the feeling of love for Hashem; how can we love Hashem? You can learn to love Hashem. You don’t have to work a hundred years to get there, but you have to do something. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
When you daven, (pray) do you think anybody is listening? Even if you think about the meaning of the words, you absolutely do not think anybody is listening. When you train yourself, after a while the words start hitting home... You have to work on the awareness that Hashem is listening. You have to picture in your mind that Hashem is standing in front of you. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
If a person prays but doesn’t think about what he is saying, it’s not going to be accepted at all. That, of course, is a very simple thing, and yet it’s a universal problem. There are so many people who daven (pray) without intention, and it is not accepted by Hashem at all. The Rambam says, “Any tefillah (prayer) that is not said with intention, is not tefillah.” - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
You are not born good; you have to become good. Not only do you have to work to become good, but even if you make yourself good, you have to make sure that you remain good, because in the course of time, you may revert back to your old ways. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim
There are certain things that can be likened to icebergs facing a person traveling in his ship on the sea of life. If he knows how to look, he will find opportunities to navigate himself safely through the icebergs. But there are icebergs; you have to know what or who they are, and you have to know exactly what to do when you encounter them. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
Most human beings think that they are lucky to have been born with good character. Although they know they didn’t work on their character, they didn’t labor to train themselves, but they’re convinced that they’re good anyhow. In order to live like a servant of Hashem, you must study how to do it. In order to live decently, you must learn and train yourself. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
If a person would study Mesillas Yesharim (Path of the Just) ten minutes a day, I guarantee you his life will be transformed. However, I’ll settle for five minutes. Because it’s so valuable that no matter how little it is, it’s a precious achievement. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
One cannot claim to be a servant of Hashem while doing all sorts of wrong things just because he is not aware that they are wrong. He must study and learn the details of what Hashem expects of us. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
Attaining chassidus (peity) is an important achievement in life to which we should aspire. Even if you can’t be a chassid (pious) in everything, it’s possible in some of life’s smaller and easier details to succeed in chassidus. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
In reality it requires a great deal of acumen and a sharp mind to understand the true way of being devoted to Hashem. [Even] those who are capable will not have it because they didn’t put time into it... But since those with good minds don’t study it, the general public is not aware of what true service of Hashem really means. - Ohr Avigdor Mesilas Yesharim vol. 1
Most of life is happiness. Even a blind man is blessed with good fortune. After all, he can eat, he can think, he can walk, he has a good heart. He should acknowledge that, despite his problems, most of the functions of his life are successful. He shouldn't allow himself to be bitter just because one of the functions was taken away from him. — Ohr Avigdor Shaar Habechinah
Everything in the world speaks about the Oneness of Hashem. This is because the world is like a great machine in which all the parts are related to each other and cooperate with each other. Such a machine clearly has unity of purpose. When we look around us, we see that everything in the world cooperates. — Ohr Avigdor Hakdama
When it comes to doing something for the community, the responsibility of a person who is able to do something becomes especially great.
The sin of a man who is capable, but doesn't teach, is even greater than the sin of an unqualified man who goes ahead and teaches anyway. — Ohr Avigdor Hakdama
Think about what you have and be happy with it. Remember that there are very many people who don't have even what you have right now. Of course, you could try to be wealthy. There is no harm in that. But to be dissatisfied because you think you could have achieved more wealth is a tragedy. -- Ohr Avigdor Shaar Habechinah
Every man has an infinitely deep reservoir of potential wisdom upon which he can draw. Hashem is waiting for him to bring that wisdom to the surface; actually, Hashem originally filled the reservoir with the wisdom of the Torah.
By utilizing opportunities that arise in a person’s life, he can draw upon and bring forth this wisdom with the aid of the Torah, and thus acquire the great gift of chachma (wisdom).
-- Ohr Avigdor Hakdama
There is a man walking in the street, and there is a big noise of traffic so nobody can hear what he's saying. He opens up his mouth and says, "I love you Hashem!"
That the wisest thing you can do. It's a mitzvas asei min haTorah (positive commandment from the Torah), and don't think it's not true. Once you open your mouth and say it, your thoughts follow your words. A certain amount of ahava (love) is generated by saying it.
— Out of Eden (#93)
"Siyag l'chacham shesika (The fence for a man's wisdom is being silent)." (Pirkei Avos)
The Rambam tells us just by being silent he won't become a wise man. Rather, everybody has good qualities by nature, and by being silent he's building a fence around these good qualities. That kind of chachma (wisdom) is protected by your silence. — Working on the Midos (#658)
We must turn our backs to the philosophies of the nations, as our people have always done. The darkness created by them, and by the misguided of Israel who imitate them, prevents the seeker from beginning his ascent. They are a wall between us and Hashem; they and the Jewish secularists prevent the Jewish masses from approaching the Truth.
— Sing, You Righteous
The whole thing is foolishness. The whole purpose of the Holocaust was a summons to teshuva (repentance). It's a demonstration of ruination caused by forsaking the Torah.
Hashem was issuing a call to the Jewish world to repent and come back to the Torah, and it was a summons that was unheeded. — Privilege of Persecution (#29)
Although most people think about Hashem and are willing to say that He is all-knowing and all-wise, they do not put a lot of thought into it. But when we study Shaar Habechinah (The Gate of Examination) and we begin to realize how everything in the world is made with wisdom and with benevolence, the mind gains a picture of Hashem as a great Father and a great Benefactor. — Ohr Avigdor Shaar Habechinah
Gedola deah, how great it is to have deah (wisdom)! "Dah kanisa mah chaser (If you have that what don't you have)? Dah chasarta mah kanisa (If you don't have this what do you have)?" That's everything! Everything in the world is teaching deah. And deah means first and foremost "L'daas es Hashem (to know about Hashem)." — Bringing Up Children 8 (#679)
It was Abraham's admiration of Hashem that made him great and that made his seed chosen forever. Because he meditated by day and by night on the greatness of the Creator and on His qualities as revealed 1) in nature and 2) in history, Abraham gradually was transformed into a human likeness of that which he admired. — Awake, My Glory
Human acts are forever. When you say a word, that word is forever. You just cannot erase that word. It'll continue to live on for eternity. And everything that people do in this world is of eternal significance. There's no such thing as past. Everything is present and future. What you did ten years ago will live on and on. — Eternal Sanctuary of Marriage (#516)