Dear Mesivta and Yeshiva Bochurim,
You are about to begin a new zeman. Your hopes are high for a year of hatzlocha in your learning. People often remind themselves that hatzlocha in parnassa comes from Hashem or that winning a raffle is from Hashem. Somehow, when it comes to learning, some people think that if they work hard and diligently, they will be matzliach. Of course, there is no doubt that a bochur should put his kochos into learning, but he cannot forget that he needs siyata diShmaya to be successful.
There is another common misconception – that Kiddush Hashem is a term that applies only vis-à-vis a gentile or a secular Jew. We must be aware, however, that we must be on guard to make a Kiddush Hashem in front of everyone. When a masmid says, “Good morning,” to a younger bochur, the younger bochur thinks to himself, “Look what becomes of someone who is devoted to learning Torah.” When an older bochur who davens with kavana waits his turn in line for the water fountain or for a chance to wash netilas yodayim, a younger bochur will feel, “Wow, I want to be like him. He is a real mentch.”
You – yes, each one of you – has tremendous power in your every action. “At risk” bochurim don’t always look “at-risk.” They may be on time for seder, and they may even learn extra sedorim. But they look at you. They ask themselves, “If I stick to the Torah path, how will I turn out?” If you treat them like a mentch, if you treat them as a Divine creation, you may have a cheilek in every single mitzvah and every word of Torah of theirs and their children and their grandchildren.
What greater zechus can a bochur have for his own personal hatzlocha in learning than acting, with his mentchlichkeit, as an ambassador of Hashem.
(Writing from Experience)