Parshas Behaloscha:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il
HomePage: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~hm16/

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 Chafetz Chaim:

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 person.

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 Melitz Yosher)

Halacha Bytes:




It says in Pasuk (9:20), "According to the word of Hashem they would camp, according to the word of Hashem they would travel".

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 stand".

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".

Good Shabbos!!