He starts off by talking about Baby Moshe and the Nile River.
The Nile River eventually flows into the sea.
When the basket holding Moshe Rabbeinu was placed in the Nile, it should have kept on floating until that beautiful baby boy would've been lost at sea.
But instead, Paroh's daughter saved him.
She went into the Nile to cleanse herself of the wickedness of her father's home. Her maidservants pretended that they could not reach the basket. So even though the princess was too far away to save him, she reached out her hand anyway and Hashem miraculously extended her arm enough to grasp the basket.
And thus history was made.
The greatest Prophet to ever live and the savior of the Jewish people owes everything to this Egyptian princess.
Why did she do it? And why did she succeed?
It all came down to one word: ratzon.
3 Things Happen When You Desire to be Good
If you really desire something, you run toward it.
Rav Miller says that when a person sets his heart on something, like to be a sincere & dedicated servant of Hashem, 3 things happen (pages 10-11):
- 1) He'll see opportunities that others don't see, opportunities he realizes he can utilize for his goal.
- 2) Certain processes develop in his mind, processes that enable him to understand & internalize the material better.
- 3) Hashem will help him get on the right path; Hashem will bring him mentors & friends who can help him.
Ironically, people can set their heart on being unhappy too, with similar results.
You Can be a Chafetz Chaim Too!
Rav Miller explains (page 11) how reading newspapers and listening to the radio incites indignation and fuels unhappiness, in addition to causing unwanted physical changes in the body due to all that stress and unhappiness.
Interestingly, he said all this before the advent of social media. His descriptions of the effects of physical and emotional effects of media are even truer today about tweets and posts than they were back then.
Rav Miller says you can have a pleasurable life if you do the following (page 14):
But you have to start out originally on this path: “My way in life is to love life.” And that’s the idea of being a chofetz chaim.
It says...Who is the one who desires life? [Mi ha'ish hechafetz chaim – Tehillim 34:13--MR]
You have to love life.
Chofetz chaim means that you desire it.
And so the first thing is to make up your mind that you are going to love life.
Decide that you really want to be good to your future spouse.
(He reassures us that we can also decide this even if we've already been married for 50 years.)
He recommends that you really desire to be good person, a good spouse, and that you desire to build a home like a Mikdash in miniature, and that you really desire to produce tzaddikim.
And it's implied that sincere desire emanates from sincere motivations.
You can't want children who act like tzaddikim just to impress your community or your family or reassure your ego.
You must want children who really are tzaddikim.
I believe this takes some fine-tuning to get down to our nitty-gritty motivations and polish ourselves so that our motivations emanate from the right place.
Nothing is guaranteed and we don't know what kind of soul-tikkunim we need in life that might prevent our desired outcome.
We might crave something with all our heart – something good! Something we believe Hashem wants too.
And we lose it. Or we never get it.
But a good ratzon is still a good start.
You'll never know what you can achieve until you try.
Stretch out that arm.