This Dvar Torah was prepared in the merit and memory of my grandfather: Rav Yitzchak Zev Ben Yisroel Mordechai HaKohen Solomon
"And the man Moshe was humble, more than any
human being on earth".
Was humility Moshe's only trait? Didn't he have
additional good character traits?
Humility is the source of all other commendable traits.
True humility leads to character refinement. We must note that
self-esteem is not contrary to humility. True humility can only
be achieved by someone who has self-esteem.
Humility does not mean "not seeing one's own
quality or abilities that he has", rather knowing ones qualities
and bringing out the most and the best.
Moshe knew that he was distinct and greater than all other prophets for all time to come.
Moshe was not vain about his greatness, rather he
remained humble, more than any other man on earth.
True humility is when one realizes that there is
always someone greater then him, Hashem. This is the only one
that a person must feel nothing to.
If one wants to rid himself of his character defects,
the place to begin is with a healthy humility. One should not
deny his/her potential, but one should come to the recognition
that whatever we have is all a gift from Hashem, and the honor
for our achievements really belongs to Him.
The closer one is to his Neshama, the more humble one is.
The closer one is to his physical body, the more
arrogant one is, for the nature of one's physical body is to be
arrogant, while one's Neshama which is placed into ones body,
is part of Hashem.
The aroma of Kugel:
The following story is said over in the name of the
One time when the Chafetz Chaim traveled to Moscow,
to take care of Yeshiva matters, he made sure to hide the fact
of his travel to Moscow from his relatives in order for them not
to be waaiting for him when he arrives.
After he arrived, one of his relatives who was disappointed
about the fact that the Chofetz Chaim didn't tell them about his
planned visit, asked why he didn't give them the chance to know
of his coming, and thus give him the great respect which he deserved.
Answered the Chofetz Chaim with the following statement:
"I am sure that you eat Kugel on Shabbos. If you would have the desire to taste the Kugel on Friday, while the sweet aroma is in the air, I am sure your wife would tell you, please take something else to eat, for the Kugel is special for Shabbos.
Honor, concluded the Chofetz Chaim, is Kugel which is eaten on a day which is complete Shabbos (the world to come).
However, if one can't hold himself back, and feels
that he just has to have a taste of that Kugel (honor) on Erev
Shabbos(this world), he will then end up remaining hungry on Shabbos...
We have to understand that the good qualities that
we have, are "on loan" from Hashem.
Rav Yosef - true humility:
There is a Mishna at the end of Gemarah Sota which
states, when Rebbi Yehuda Ha Nassi, the author and editor of the
Mishna, died, he was the last humble person.
In the Gemarah 49:b in Sota, it brings down a statement
of Rav Yosef who says, "no, there are still humble people
left, for I am here".
We may at first not understand what this Gemarah
means, is this a humble person?
Rav Yosef was one of the authors of the Talmud, and
he went blind. Due to going blind, he forgot all of his learning.
Thus he says, don't say there are no more humble people, for there is me.
"Not that I am the most humble" (says Rav
Yosef), rather he is saying that he is the antidote to prevent
one from letting his talents and qualities, get to his head.
Today one may have these great talents, but by tomorrow they can
all be gone. One must recognize his inborn talents, but he must
always remember its on loan, always remember Rav Yosef.
Yet it is not enough for one to know his talents,
he also must realize what he has, his talents that he has, he
must feel the great responsibility to use his capabilities for
the right purpose, that he must be special if he was picked over
others, thus he has an extra responsibility.
Humilty - I:
Rav Frand brings down a story where he gave a speech
about Humility V.S. Self Esteem:
A person came up to him and told him that in one of the ads about the intended speech, someone did a typo error and forgot the "i" from the word humility.
He then said, this is the irony to it, forgetting the "i", me, is humility.
Not focusing the world around me, is true humility.
Rav Frand continues and brings in the name of Rav
Yichel Michel of Zlochiv, that the whole difference between a
mirror and a window, is the silver coating. When one coats the
glass with silver, he only sees himself.
Rav Yeruchum Levovitz states that "A person
who does not see his personal defects is at a disadvantage, however
someone who is not aware of his capabilities is much more worse
off, for he doesn't even know which tools he has to work with
to better himself.
An arrogant person is usually not someone who feels
he is great, rather usually he feels inferior to others, and thus
goes on an endless desire, to get approval from others.
Seeing in others:
Rebbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, writes that Moshe Rabbeinu
knew and was able to value the special traits, and the greatness
of each and every person, even those traits hidden in the simple
This great ability which Moshe had, that he was able
to reach down into each persons heart and see and learn their
traits, brought him to his great humble state.
This is what the Torah meant, "Moshe was very humble, from any human on the face of the earth."
He explains the Pasuk as, the letter "Mem" of Mikol(from all) is not teaching us that he was greater than all humans, rather that he was great from all (Meiet), people. He learned from everyone.
(Adapted from Rav Frand, Rav Dr. A.J. Twersky, Sefer
It says in Pasuk (9:20), "According to the word
of Hashem they would camp, according to the word of Hashem they
From this Pasuk, the Shla Ha Kadosh writes that for
every action or decision a person makes, he should say "Im
Yirtzei Hashem" or "B-Ezrat Hashem".
For example, before one goes on a trip, he should
say, "I plan on going to New York tomorrow, B-Ezrat Hashem".
For one should see Hashem in every move one makes.
We also may notice those who write at the top of
their pages, "B"H" or "B'SD".
It says in Mishle (19:21), "A person may have
many thoughts in his heart, yet Hashem's counsel is what will
This is hinted in the Pasuk, "Rabos Machshavos
Bleiv Ish, Vatzas Hashem "He" Takum." The word
"He" is an acronym for:
1) Hai - Hashem
2) Yud - Yirtzei
3) Alef - Im
And we get "Im Yirtzei Hashem".