Last week a lecturer gave a riveting speech to the women in the neighborhood. I was unable to attend but a friend told me that the message was that our children are a reflection of ourselves. The messages the children receive in the home, and the actions and sights they are exposed to will form the basis for their development.
I was reminded of the message when I read an article in the Hamodia about how the actions of Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel zt"l, influenced a talmid for years to come.
A talmid in the Mir Yeshiva had asked the Rav if he could learn with him. When the bochur arrived at the Rosh Yeshiva's home, he saw that the Rav was spent from a long day. In utter exhaustion the Rav walked over to the boy. When the bochur asked the rav what he wanted to learn the rav told him, "You're the boss, what do you think?" The student suggested leanrning "mussar, perhaps something about laziness."
At that point, the Rosh Yeshiva did something which would remain indelibly engraved in the boy's memory.
"Without a second thought, and as tired and as weak as he was, he jumped out of the chair, hurried to the bookshelf, and pulled out a mussar sefer. It was as if a suddent burst of energy filled his body. I watched in utter shock as a man who was completely exhausted just moments before came back to life right before my eyes."
The talmid concluded that he didn't remember what they learned that evening but he would never forget the lesson, not of words, but of actions. His memories of that night with the Rosh Yeshiva would galvanize him to action for years to come whenever he was too tired or not in the mood to do something.