June 11, 2020 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #1870801abukspanParticipant
Behaaloscha 2 – True Humility:
והאיש משה ענו מאד מכל האדם אשר על פני האדמה
And the man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth (Bamidar 12:3).
The pasuk describes the “ish Moshe – man Moshe” as being humbler than any other “adam – person.” What is the intent of the Torah in this switch, calling Moshe an ish while comparing his humility to others known as adam? Rav Nissan Alpert (Limudei Nissan) has an insightful observation on this pasuk, which illustrates what true anavah is.
The term adam can refer to any human being, even at birth. Every person, even one who has not yet achieved anything, is called an adam. An ish, however, denotes a person of accomplishment and success, one who has made something of himself.
Moshe was the ultimate ish and was even described as “ish ha’Elokim – a man of G-d” (Devarim 33:1). His achievement and stature were unparalleled. In this pasuk, the Torah contrasts the humility of Moshe, the ish par excellence, with every other adam on the face of the earth. Moshe, in all of his majesty, was humbler than the most common of people, even a mere adam.
For an adam, a man of no accomplishment, to be humble is no trick, since he does not have a lot going for him. True humility is demonstrated when a man of achievement remains humble; he does not allow what he has made of himself to go to his head.
This idea is evident from a thought of the Kotzker Rebbe, based on Sotah (5a). The Gemara quotes Rabbi Yosef, who said, “A person should always learn from his Creator, for Hashem set aside all of the mountains and hills and rested His Shechinah on Har Sinai.” Kabbalas HaTorah requires humility. Hence, Moshe, the humblest person, acquired Torah to a greater degree than any other person.
The Kotzker asks: If humility is so great, why give the Torah on Har Sinai? It’s still a mountain; to truly demonstrate humility, the Torah should have been given on a flatland or even a valley. The Kotzker explains that it is no big deal for a valley or flatland to be humble. Therefore, the Torah was given on Har Sinai. It was a mountain, albeit a small one. It did stand out and had what to show for itself, yet still remained humble.
This notion can be seen in another statement in the Gemara (Nedarim 38a), which says in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: “Hashem does not place His Shechinah on a person unless he is strong, wise, wealthy, and humble, and all these traits were found by Moshe.” It’s clear why Hashem will not place His Shechinah on a person lacking humility. The Gemara in Sotah quoted above also tells us that Hashem says, “I and he – the one who is arrogant – cannot dwell in the same world.”
But why are strength, wisdom, and wealth prerequisites for communion with Hashem? In fact, another Gemara (Shabbos 92a) mentions another condition of receiving prophecy: height. Why do these features affect one’s ability to connect with the Shechinah?
Rav Chaim Volozhin also explains that the critical factor here is humility – true humility. The apparent humility of a short, weak, poor, and unintelligent person isn’t saying much; he has nothing to be proud of anyway. A person who is tall, strong, wealthy, and wise, yet stays humble demonstrates real humility. Such a person is truly deserving of being a Sanctuary for the Shechinah.
The Ksav Sofer (Vayikra 161b) adds that this is the reason the Torah calls Moshe by the name his adoptive mother gave him, rather than the other names given by his parents and by Hashem. The name Moshe implies that he was drawn from the water by the daughter of Pharaoh (Shemos 2:10); he was raised in the palace and was brought up as a royal. He had every reason to become haughty, yet he did not consider himself superior to even the lowest slave.
The Torah is emphasizing that the man who was called Moshe, with all that the name encompasses, still remained humble.June 11, 2020 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm #1870850
Very nice. We find Rebbi who was very wealthy said that the best midah is beautiful for the doer and for others which would be humility. Rav Yosef did not feel any haughtiness when he said that I am around after Rebbi passed on. The gemora says in Chulin (89,1) that what it said by Moshe and Aharon is greater than what it says by Avraham. I heard two explanations, one, Avraham Avinu said that he is dust and ashes towards Hashem whereas Moshe Rabbenu said what are we to people. Two, dust an ashes is something whereas Moshe Rabbenu considered themselves as nothing.June 12, 2020 12:30 am at 12:30 am #1870856
In SA O’CH 98,1 the RMA says that when one davens shemonei esre, he should have in mind the greatness of Hashem and lowliness of himself. These two are directly related. The more one sees one, the more he sees the other. His eyes should point downwards and his heart upwards.June 12, 2020 2:52 am at 2:52 am #1870881
Gadlus of Moishe Rabeinu is also, asides from his spiritual greatness one can’t even imagine (vaTchasrehu…), he had also all attributes revered in this material world: physically-strong, rich, tall… (Nedorim 38). Which gives an added explanation of the emphasis “miKol hoOdom asher al pnei hoAdomoh”…June 12, 2020 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #1871168
Moshe Rabbenu’s name is not mentioned in Parashas Tetzaveh because he asked to have his name erased. See the Baal Haturim there. Maybe it is a commemoration to his greatness at the parasha of his yahr zeit. The two greatest qualities of his are humility and compassion. They are both reflected. One, he felt not worthy that his name be mentioned. Two, he said that when he asked for forgiveness thereby showing his compassion to the Jews.
Actually I heard, that the first letters at the end of the parsha starting from yechaper add up to his name.June 12, 2020 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #1871198
What you’ve mentioned on ‘Yechaper’ , maybe one can connect it to the missing letter ‘yut’, in word ‘onov…’
ירושלמי ברכות (סח): כל פיטטיא בישין, ופיטטיא דאורייתא טבין.June 18, 2020 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm #1874215
leMaanAchai, Look at the Daas Zekenim of Tosfas about the implication of tbe missing yud tbat he was humble in all his body.June 19, 2020 8:13 am at 8:13 am #1874281
Yes r Eliezer. I remember it when I used to have the אוצר הראשונים.
At the time I connected this Remach eivorov with Gibor that Gemoro in Nedorim says…that, thiis s the chidush. That with all his physical attributes he still was more humble and lower than ANYONE on earth.
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