How do Torah leaders who don't read secular books get their broad knowledge?
There is such a thing as sevoroh; you don't need anything outside of sevoroh. The Torah gives us enough information to know all that we have to know. Of course I'm not saying, if you know Chovas Halvavos or you know Tur, you're going to know how to repair a refrigerator; I'm not saying that. You have to learn each umnus (trade) by itself, but in general the chochmas hanefesh, the chochmas hachaim, how to behave properly, how to live successfully, all comes from the Torah.
Just this word one alone: Kol yomei godalti bein hachachomim, all my life I grew up among wise men, v'lo matzosi laguf tov m'shtika, I found nothing better for the health than keeping quiet. Hear that?
Here is something that is better than vitamins, than jogging, anything else: keep quiet. You'll live longer if you keep your mouth closed, try it out and you'll see. No question about it. That's chochmas hachaim.
Can I tell you how much trouble is caused by talking? Here's a man walking in the street on Ave J, and a gentile bum is loafing in the corner and he said something about this Jew, and the Jew turned around and said something. Oooh..he made a mistake! He made a mistake? He was sorry he said it. Keep on walking, the goy will get killed eventually, a car will kill him, don't worry about it, he'll get his. Don't answer back! If you don't answer back you'll live longer, it's always the rule, don't answer back.
You want to be happy with your wife? Don't answer back!! A fool answers back, a word for a word, a conflagration,, a fire arises, and then trouble comes. Don't answer back and that's all. If your boss insults you, keep quiet, that's your job, just keep quiet. Lo matzosi laguf tov m'shtika, and how many pieces of advice are there? There are thousands of pieces of advice like that.
When people look at your face, they like you right away; you open your mouth, then they stop liking you. You want people to like you? You're going to a wedding with your new mechutonim? Walk in and just smile, don't say a word. Don't say a word!! You keep on walking around talking to them, right away each one knows you're a nothing.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures. To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210