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D’var Torah Bha’alotcha

D’var Torah Bha’alotcha

Moses, however, was very humble, more so than any man on the face of the earth. )Numbers 12:3(

At first glance, the verse seems strange, since it was written by Moses himself, and writing of himself that he is the humblest of men hardly conveys humility.

Of course, our question is a non-starter, since Moses did not author the verse, but merely wrote what God dictated to him.
Nonetheless, there is a practical lesson to be learnt from Moses writing of his own humility. Moses could have argued with God and expressed his reluctance to describe himself as the humblest of men, yet we find no such description in the rabbinic literature. The practical message is that humility does not require denying the truth. While it would be unseemly for a person to brag about his own positive attributes, it is equally unseemly to deny them.

Rabbi Yeruḥam Levovitz (1873 – 1936), the mashgiaḥ of the Mir yeshiva takes the point a step further, when he writes: “It is totally inappropriate when a person does not recognize his own shortcomings, for then he has no idea of what [spiritual] work is required of him, but even worse is one who does not recognize his own virtues, for then he has nothing with which to work.”

Rabbi Levovitz added that the proof of Moses’ humility is the fact that even after writing the words “Moses, however, was very humble, more so than any man on the face of the earth,” he in fact remained the same humble person as he had been.

My son-in-law added a psychological insight: there is a clear connection between one's level of humility and recognition of self-value. The less one's feeling of self-value, the greater is the need to act outwardly as the person would like to be and wishes to be perceived by others. One who truly values himself has no need to show himself off and outwardly he is exactly that which he is inwardly.

]This Dvar Torah is sent in honor of the bar mitzva of my grandson Malachi Naḥman Noyman. May he continue to value himself and his wonderful traits and always be a source of joy for the family and for all Israel. ] (David Magence)

Shabbat Shalom

The Va’ad

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