From Ohr Avigdor Shaar Bitachon by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Everybody will be rewarded according to what he deserves. An unstated reason for the lack of discussion of the World to Come in the Torah is related to the fact that there is no explanatory discussion of Hashem in the Torah. This is because human beings are unable to comprehend or describe Him. We just know that He is there. He is always around.
What is He? What does He look like? That’s is not for us to say, as it says, “No human can see My face and live” (Shemos 33:20). Even Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t capable of seeing Hashem while he was alive.
Every person who’s called a Jew should thank Hashem when he opens his eyes in the morning. It should be his first thought in the day. If a person learns to thank Hashem for life and to recognize Hashem in nature around him, then it won’t be too difficult for him to understand that the Am Yisrael has been chosen for a special privilege, and Torah and mitzvos are gifts on top of everything else. — Bring Up Children 8 (#679)
From Defending the Honor of Hashem (#E-238) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Q: Is it wrong to move out of town in order to join a kollel where we can be be involved in educating people?
A: If you do it for a short time, maybe. But you must know that you are sacrificing your family. I know from experience, if your family will remain out of town in a negative environment, who knows what can happen chas vesholom.
If you move into a frum neighborhood, your family is transformed. The sons and daughters go to the very best schools, like the Yeshiva of Brooklyn. The people who have TV are not allowed to send their children there, they won’t tell you about TV in those places.
What is our purpose when we come to pray and learn Torah? We are trying to achieve something for ourselves and find favor in the eyes of Hashem. We should view our service as if we are bringing a gift to Hashem, like we say: "Be favorable Hashem our G-d to your people and to their prayer" (Shemona Esrei). All of our service is like giving gifts to Hashem. — Shiurim on Mesilas Yesharim
From Reward of Emunah (#207) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
There is one consolation in life. No matter how many dark days some people have in life (and everybody eventually is disappointed, because you never forget what you want: “Ain adam meis v’chatzi taavaso b’yado — nobody dies having attained even half of his desires”), life is full of fun, full of joy, that’s what life is.
When they die they’re disappointed. It has to come to an end? It’s a great disappointment. But then comes the great consolation. When I am beset by sorrows and by concern, I am worried. “Tanchumecha hayu shaashu nafshi — Your consolations, they are the happiness of my soul."
Now what are the consolations? “Zechor davar l’avdecha al asher yichaltani — remember the word that You spoke to Your servant concerning that which You gave me hope." You, Hashem, remember the word that You promised us, that You gave us hope. You know what that hope is?
There remains as our main purpose in life the great issue of making something out of ourselves, of making progress in life. It’s not enough for a man to be a shomer (observing) Shabbos and a shomer kol hamitzvos (keeping all the mitzvos)... It’s not enough to avoid all the sins. You must accomplish something positive in life. — Adam's Ordeal (#28)
Current events with commentary by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Iran Nuke Deal Based on Lies, Made-up Stories
Media figure B_____ shaped a “story” about the so-called origins of the Iran deal, involving a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime and their so-called policy of “openness.”
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” B_____ said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo… They literally know nothing.” As the story evolved, “arms-control experts” began popping up at think tanks and on social media. These experts became “sources” for legions of ignorant reporters.
“We created an echo chamber,’ B_____ explained, “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
If you think about Hashem one minute a day, you’re a great man, an exceptional person. Try it right now. Don’t postpone... All you do is daven three times a day, that’s all you’ll do. Think about Hashem for this minute. You’re sitting in front of Hashem. He’s the King of the world — "Meloh kol haaretz kevodo — the world is full of His glory," out it into space, and He’s looking straight at you this minute. -- Wine of Prayer (#555)
From Seven Objectives of Tefila (#864) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Achievement number one in the purposes of tefilla (prayer) is to gain deah, a feeling that Hashem is right in front of you. In order to do that, the Torah has given us a very big heter (dispensation). The Torah has given permission to do something which otherwise you should not do. And that’s called hagshama: to picture Hashem is a physical way.
Now that’s absolutely wrong. “El mi tidamuni — To whom can you compare Me?”, Hashem said. It’s forbidden to believe that Hashem looks like anything we know. Therefore how can a man presume to picture that he’s standing before a melech (king) or before a father if it’s against the truth? The Rambam said if you really think [that’s Hashem’s image], then you’re a min (heretic). So how can you risk such a thing?
Forgot to say "Mashiv haruach" in Shemoneh Esrai? Don’t say, “It just happened; it’s an accident.” Criticize yourself! Fought with your wife? You had a part in it. It doesn’t mean blame yourself unnecessarily, but think into things and see what’s true about you. Sometimes you’ll discover good things, valuable midos that you have. That’s also worthwhile. But look for negative things too, and get rid of them. — Five Minutes a Day
From Cultivate Your Garden (#877) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
When you see a rosebush, train yourself: don’t say it’s superfluous. A man once came out of a sfarim (Jewish book) store; he said, “Rabbi Miller, what you’re saying is excellent, but we don’t need it. We have emunah peshuta (simple faith).”
I’m so happy you have emunah peshuta. When you pass by a rosebush, of course you have emuna peshutah, but Hashem says come, I want to show you now, here’s an opportunity.
Look at a rosebush; where do the thorns come from? Why don’t other things have thorns?
Even though the act is fully permissible, if the intent is not kosher, it makes the act a different kind of an act. This is a startling statement and therefore, the Chovos Halevavos takes out time to tell us that it is of the utmost importance whenever we do anything, to examine our motives. Otherwise, we may G-d forbid, be losing the entire virtue of the mitzvah. — 10 Easy Steps to Greatness (#720)
From All Is Happiness (#E-060) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Most people in the world don't understand why they were created. Well, to do mitzvos. You certainly have to do mitzvos. But you must know, the mitzvos that the Torah commands you are very few.
How many people will ever do the mitzvah of peter chamor (you have to redeem the firstborn of your donkey)? You don’t even have a bechor of a beheima tehorah (first born if a pure species); you're not a man who has livestock. When will you give away your bechor to the Kohanim from your livestock, from your sheep and your cow? How many times in your life will you encounter a kan tzipor, a nest of a bird, and fulfill the mitzvah of shiluach hakein (sending aware the mother bird)? Maybe never.
The entire world is made for the purpose of service, of accomplishing. Hashem did not make it it should just exist; he made it for achievement. And when there is an individual who achieves by perfecting himself... he thereby performs a kindliness and bestows a benefit on the entire world — Make the World a Better Place (#E-15)
From Defending the Honor of Hashem (#E-328) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Q: How do we know that the tzaddik (righteous person) is going to Gan Eden and the rasha (evil person) is going to Gehinnom?
A: We know it because the Torah tells us that. That's the source of all knowledge. All that you can say is what you know, you know nothing at all. We listen to the Torah. Hashem spoke to our nation at Har Sinai, and He said that Moshe Rabbeinu is My spokesman. You hear that? Moshe will speak for Me.
Moshe Rabbeinu wrote in the Torah, “vayishkav im avosov,” Avraham Avinu “lay down with his fathers." Where were his fathers? Avraham wasn’t buried with his fathers. Terach was in Canaan, in Aram, in Choron. Avraham is buried in Mearas Hamachpeilah. It says he’s lying with his fathers?
Emunah (faith in Hashem) is largely a result of the people among who you live. Like the Rambam says, "Haadam nimshach b’deosav achar chaveirav v’reiav — a man is drawn along in all his attitudes after the ones" with whom he associates. That’s so important that I’m going to repeat it: What are you? You are what your environment is. — Chanukah (#108)
From Spirit of Matter (#16) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
I’ll repeat for you a little picture that I once drew for you here. There’s a case of a man who won a contest, and the prize for the contest was five seconds in Tiffany’s vault. Tiffany used to have a vault. The great day came when this man came to Tiffany with all his relatives, and he was dressed in his Shabbas garments. He made sure that his wife sewed in extra pockets in all sides of the lining. Of course reporters and photographers were there, and the president of the bank was there in full dress; and also a representative of the Internal Revenue Service.
He had to wait because that vault doesn’t open by itself, it opens by a clock at a certain moment. And finally a bell rang and that heavy massive door began to open up, and he was amazed at what he saw. He was stunned by the blaze that he saw on all shelves, glittering stones, white, and some blue. But the presence nudged him, hurry up, it’s late, you only have five seconds. So he lunged into the vault and fell down on his face and hands starting grabbing. But then the president of the bank took him by his coattails and pulled him right out, the bell rang and the door closed. Five seconds were up. And that’s what life is.
We’re not just another people; we’re the aristocrats. That’s a big lesson that Jews have to learn. The Jewish people are the most beautiful of nations. — Most Beautiful Nation
From Ohr Avigdor Shaar Habechina by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
We have midwives and obstetricians, but a woman may even give birth without any help at all. This is because the entire process is directed from Heaven and the birth occurs at the designated time, when all the conditions are right.
At that time the walls of the uterus become softer and more pliable and the passage is remarkably enlarged, so that a large baby comes out. Truly this is a miracle and it all takes place without anybody’s assistance.
In the degree that Jews harmonise with each other and do kindness to each other, in that same degree does the Shechinah (DIvine Presence) approach and come closer to them...
The concentration of the loyal of Israel, and their love of each other, and their ability to dwell together in perfect concord, cause them to be favored with Hashem’s presence and with all the benefits which thereby accrue. — Awake, My Glory
From The Holy Family: Bringing Up Children (#E-171) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Hashem loves His people, right here and the rest of the Jewish nation, more than anything in the universe. It’s a powerful attachment to them. “Banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem — You are sons, you are children to Hashem.” You and only you. When the nations say, “Hashem is our Father,” they are usurping a relationship that doesn’t belong to them. Hashem is their Creator, it’s true, but He’s not their Father. Absolutely unjustified! Banim atem, you are His children. “Ki amar Hashem, bini bechori Yisrael — For Hashem said, Yisrael is My chosen, is My best son.” He’s our Father, and we’re His sons, we’re His children.
That is one of the yesodos of the Torah and that has to be made most prominent in the Jewish home. You should know that the Am Yisrael is beloved by Hashem, and the more you love the Am Yisrael the more Hashem loves you.
We’re keeping exactly the same Torah that was given at Sinai... There's no other nation in the world that’s doing that... That’s not an accident; Hashem knew that he was investing in somebody with character. Avraham put so much energy into this task of transmitting this tradition. We move with the strength of that great impetus that Avraham Avinu gave our nation. — Midos: Whom Hashem Chooses (#544)
From Ohr Avigdor Shaar Habitachon by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
When you settle down to the actual subject of serving Hashem, the very first of all things that you need, is the subject of bitachon (trusting Hashem). That may seem at first like a new idea, because after we make up our minds to serve Hashem, we instinctively look for action — for things to do, obligations that we have to fulfill.
Instead the author of Chovos Halevavos gives us things to think about. So we begin to see that the most important part of serving Hashem is thinking. We also have functions to perform, but first on the list of avodas (service of) Hashem is certain attitudes of the mind that we have to acquire.
When one chooses to live next door to a talmid chacham (Torah scholar), he thereby comes closer to G-d. "You shall cling to Him," (Devarim 10: 20) means physical proximity... It may be considerably inconvenient to dwell there, but to be close is an achievement that cannot fail to mold your history and the history of your posterity, just as it molds the history of nations. — Awake, My Glory
From Singing in the World (#1) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
“Amar Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi kol ha’osek b’shira b’olam hazeh, zoche l’omra l’olam habah — If a man is busy saying song in this world [osek means he is busy, and b’shira means saying song, not prose] he’ll be rewarded that he’ll continue to say this song in the next world” (Sanhedrin).
If a man says things are good, that’s prose. But suppose you get a call that you won the lottery, you won’t speak prose, you will speak in poetry, you will speak in lyric words. You might even dance too.
If a man goes around in this world unhappy — he says This World is nothing, this world is just darkness and bitterness, it’s only we’re waiting for the real World to Come — that man will never understand his purpose in this world.