Heaven Daniel Freedman

We read in our Parasha that (12:1-10): ‘Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moshe regarding the Cushite woman he had married.. And Hashem heard. Now the man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth..Hashem said to Miriam and Aaron:’..If there shall be prophets among you, in a vision shall I make Myself known to him..Not so is My servant Moshe; in My entire house he is the trusted one. Mouth to mouth do I speak to him, in a clear vision and not in riddles, at the image of Hashem does he gaze. Why did you not fear to speak against My servant Moshe?’.

Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch comments:’ענוה: humility expresses the attribute of total negation or thought of ‘self’; one who merits to attain this attribute, has removed from his heart all thoughts of himself and of his ‘greatness- and, regarding his relatioship with Hashen, ביטל: has ‘abrogated’ his being and desires, to the will of Hashem.

‘Moshe’s great humility was the reason that even his siblings were not aware of his unique relationship with Hashem; at no time did he make this known to them. Perhaps, in his great humility, he thought this relationship was no different than that of other prophets with Hashem.

‘Presumably this is why they felt entitled to speak ‘against’ him; and this is why Hashem ‘felt the need’ to speak on his behalf’.

Haktav veHakabala adds:’Though Moshe was not unaware of his uniqus abilities, his thoughts were solely for the welfare of others, and, as the Torah relates, he was prepared to offer himself to save them.

‘He purified himself from the natural inclination to think of self, until it become his second nature to think only of others’.

Rav Yaakov Aryeh Neiman, presents a different insight, as to human nature:’Humililty, like all the good attributes, ARE ‘natural’ to man.

‘How so?

‘Because our neshama is part of the divine, Hashem infusing it in man at man’s creation, and, as our Sages teach:’Wherever you find Hashem’s greatness, you also find His humility’.

‘Therefore, whoever elevates his spiritual side over his physical side, will incline toward humility; on the other hand, the more prominence that one gives to physical pursuits - at the expense of his spiritual side- will breed pride and haughtiness’.

The Netivot Shalom brings a beautiful משל: parable, to explain how, despite being aware of his unique abikities, Moshe Rabbeinu attained his great humility.

Expounds the Rav:’If there is a barrel full of water, all the while that it is in this state, it has value and importance; if, however, this water is poured into the great sea, it becomes of no independent importance whatsoever.

‘How much more so when a Jew negates himself completely before Hashem, his ‘ego’ becomes as ‘nothing’- and when, as in the case of a Moshe Rabbeinu, he is aware , more than any person on earth of the infinite greatness of the King of Kings, inevitably he is the most humble of men.

‘His ‘knowledge’ of the greatness of Hashem- Moshe Rabbeinu’s own ‘greatness’ - is, therefore, the reason for his humility! Others, who did not ‘see’ the greatness of Hashem, as did Moshe, could not attain this humility’.

The Noda beYehuda adds:’Moshe Rabbeinu was fully aware of his unique talents, but did not allow this to lead to pride; he attributed all these talents to His Benefactor, Hakadosh Baruch Hu, who deigned to share some of His honor and infinite Wisdom, with his creations.

‘He truly walked in the ways of Hashem, following the path that ‘wherever you find Hashem’s greatness, there you will find His humilty’: there was no man who merited to see Hashem’s greatness, and, therefore to attain greatness himself, and therefore there was no man who was more humble than him’.

Rav Ahron Kotler wonders:’Moshe Rabbeinu knew the whole Torah, including the Passuk: ‘There was no man as humble as Moshe on the face of the earth’. How could he ‘utter’ this praise about himself, yet be called a paradigm of humility?’.

Answers the Rav:’People misunderstand the nature of humility, thinking that it describes one who is self- deprecating, and who sees himself deficient in matters where he is in fact complete.

‘The true basic differnce between a humble man and a haughty one, is that the latter’s focus is on himself and his interests; he attributes whatever material success he has attained, to כחי ועוצם ידי עשה לי את החיל הזה: to his prowess and might.

‘The humble man - and no man, as the Torah testifies, was more humble than Moshe -attributes all to Hashem’s benevolence, and feels that no matter how much he does, for others or in his avodat Hashem, are less than the fulfillment of his debt of gratitude to his Benefactor’.

A beautiful concluding thought from Rav Yaakov Kanievsky:’One who merits to truly attain the attribute of humility, recognizes himself as of no import; he regards his material acquisitions, and his wisdom and other talents, as being not truly his own, but on loan for a short period from Hashem- like a poor man who borrows finery for a special event or the like; clearly, it would not occur to him to consider this finery as ‘his’, as he knows that he has to return them to their owner.

‘This is the truth of the truly humble man!’.

Arutz Sheva extends best wishes to Danny Ginsbourg his special birthday and on the publication of his book of Parasha articles posted on Arutz Sheva in honor of the occasion.