It’s all about the incredible benefit of blessing your fellow Jew—a benefit both to you and him or her.
Rav Miller starts off with an event from Chullin 49a, in which a non-Jew greets Rav Yishmael.
“Shalom,” said the courteous non-Jew. “Peace upon you.”
Rav Yishmael responded with, “I don’t have to answer you. Your answer is already said; it’s done.”
Lest you think that’s a rude response to a decent greeting, the Gemara explains Rav Yishmael’s response:
“The answer, the blessing for you, was already said by Hakodosh Boruch Hu to Avraham Avinu.”
Avarecha mevarchecha - “I’m going to bless all those who bless you.”
So Rabbi Yishmael was saying, “As soon as you blessed me, you were already blessed by Hakodosh Boruch Hu.”
What a beautiful and easy way to accumulate blessing straight from the Creator of the Universe.
(This is also yet another example of why unexplained English translations of the Gemara are unreliable. Written in short-hand yeshivish Aramaic, the Talmud is one of the easiest things for self-haters & Jew-haters to take out of context, which is why you should never listen to a Gemara quoted in English for the purpose of arousing doubt & hatred.)
Rav Miller emphasizes from the Gemara that even the most superficial greeting—Good morning, Have a good day, Thank you, etc.—elicits blessing directly from Hashem.
Any greeting said by a non-Jew to a Jew—no matter how superficial—will reap blessing in full directly from Hashem upon that non-Jew.
And What about the Big Curse?
Two different words are used here for the same meaning: curse.
Rav Miller explains that the root of mekalel is kal—light. So anyone who even just makes light of a Jew will be cursed.
But here’s the meat and bones of the dvar Torah and why it’s so worth reading…
The Art of Good Wishes
And it’s a very powerful things because in a sense, it’s praying for your fellow Jew. A meaningful Shalom Aleichem can really grant your fellow Jew a better day, AND reap you blessing too.
Same thing with uttering a perfunctory “Yashar koach” or “Mazal tov” or even “Good night.”
Even if you’re just uttering it mindlessly as a formality, it still has koach. But if you put some heart into it, it has even more force. You reap more both for the person you addressed and for yourself.
Rav Miller recommends looking for opportunities to wish fellow Jews all the best—privately of course.
He offers the interesting recommendation:
After wishing a fellow Jew a customary “Mazal tov,” continue walking a few paces and then murmur: “Hashem should help you find all the money you need to pay the chasunah bills. And your daughter and her new husband should get along with each other b’shalom. And you should find good shidduchim for your other children too.”
“Now, nobody should hear you talking to yourself! Be careful about that because most people don’t understand greatness – they scorn greatness. But don’t let that stop you from doing it.”
And so one of the best opportunities, one of the most authentic and real opportunities, is when
the one you’re heaping brachos upon doesn’t hear, and doesn’t know.
For example, when passing by a frum girls school, he says:
So you pass by a Beis Yaakov and the little girls are playing in the yard.
You see little Jewish girls, and it’s warm outside, it’s hot, but they’re wearing stockings, and sleeves.
It’s beautiful to see! Don’t just pass them by! They’re tzon kodoshim, it’s a holy nation.
These are going to be the mothers of our people, mothers of frum families. How could you pass them by without a generous blessing from the bottom of your heart?!
Your Precious Answer on the Day of Judgement
By wishing your fellow Jew all the best in your heart and murmuring it to yourself, you are creating love. Maybe you aren’t such a loving person to start off with. Or maybe you’re going through a hard time, leaving you feeling emotionally depleted.
But by delivering heartfelt wishes to others, you can make yourself more loving.
"And it’s the greatness that Hashem loves more than anything else. He loves those who love His people!"
And in the end, what can happen?
And when you come back to Hakodosh Boruch Hu after a lifetime of blessing fellow Jews and He says, “So, what happened?”
Oh, that dreaded question: “Did you accomplish anything in that world I sent you to?”
So you’ll tell Him, “Well, I blessed many Jews.”
“Oh,” Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “Now we’re talking! Now you’re Mine, because that’s My job; I’m busy blessing My people ba’shalom all the time! Hashem yivoreich es amo ba’shalom. And you’re helping Me out? If that’s the case, then you belong with Me and you come back into My bosom forever and ever. I am the Oheiv Amo Yisroel [Lover of His Nation Israel] par excellence, and all those who love My people, I love eternally.”
"I am the Oheiv Amo Yisroel par excellence,
Warming Your Heart from the Chill of Amalek
But by doing the above, we can fight off Amalek and warm our hearts.
It might take time, but we can do it.