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והיו הדברים האלה אשר מצוך היום על לבבך ושננתם לבניך

And these matters that I command you today shall be upon our heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children. (6:6,7)

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The Alshich HaKadosh writes: “If these matters will penetrate deep into your heart and not simply be superficial, then your words will be able to penetrate into the hearts of your children/students.” The Sefer HaYashar (Rabbi Zerachyah or Rabbeinu Tam), expresses a similar thought, “Anything that emanates from the heart will enter into the heart (of the listener).” Whatever the mouth simply expresses will not get past the ear. In other words, only one who accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah, who makes it a part of himself, can effectively transmit that Torah to others.

Horav Shraga Grossbard, zl, taught that a mechanech, Torah educator, must be prepared to give everything up for the sake of his students’ learning. Furthermore, each talmid, student, must know this. He should feel that his rebbe is his rebbe, not just when life is good, when he is doing well, but even when he is under extreme pressure, when the learning does not come easily, when there are issues at home, both material and spiritual. A student should feel that he is uppermost in his rebbe’s mind. The student can only sense this when the rebbe as a person and as an educator manifests this attitude. One might suggest that this occurs when the rebbe cares about his vocation; thus, his student is paramount in his mind. According to the Alshich, it might be the other way around. It is because the Torah is so important to him that it is engraved on his heart, that he views its transmission as being of the greatest consequence. If one does not love the subject matter, it is difficult to demonstrate the proper passion in transmitting it to others.

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