The concept is illuminating.
A Team of Advisers
Throughout history every king has had his counselors, every emperor his advisers. To a young person this might seem curious. After all, these were men of the world. Men of knowledge. Why would they need other people? Couldn’t they make up their own minds?
The answer is that they certainly could, but they understood the issues they were dealing with would shape history and affect the lives of so many others. They didn’t need help to make a decision, they needed help to make the right decision. And so, they sought out those who were older and wiser for counsel, for advice.
This concept is applicable to us as we make decisions every day – decisions that affect ourselves, decisions that affect the people in our lives. And we have to ask ourselves: Am I any less important than those world leaders? Are the people I deal with any less significant than the people they were concerned about?
If I properly value my family, my community, and myself then it is incumbent upon me to do everything that I can to ensure that I make the right choices. But how? Do I have the wisdom of a sage? Do I have the understanding of a learned man? Assuming that I don’t, I need to have people to guide me, people to direct me.
Chazal tell us, “Make for yourself a rav (rabbi/mentor).” Far more than a handbook for Jewish law, a rav is a mentor in life, a leader who provides perspective and priorities, a guide for proper life goals, one who directs you to wise choices that lead to a meaningful life of growth.