Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Behaaloscha

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"And the man, Moshe, was extremely humble, more than any man on the face of the earth." [12:3]

The Rizhiner Rebbe, R' Yisrael, contrasts this description of Moshe with that of King Solomon, who was described as more wise than any person. It is obvious, he says, that Shlomo HaMelech must also have been just as humble as Moshe. A wise person cannot be haughty -- any trace of haughtiness is foolishness, and a contradiction to wisdom! In accordance with his tremendous wisdom, he must have been equally humble.

Similarly, the Rebbe says that Moshe must also have been wiser than anyone alive, although praised for his great humility. Someone on the incredible level of Moshe could not achieve that sort of humility without tremendous wisdom. In accordance with his humility, he must have been equally wise.

If so, it turns out that both were exceedingly wise, and both were exceedingly humble. This being the case, why was Moshe praised for humility, and King Solomon, for wisdom?

The Rizhiner Rebbe explains as follows: there is a law that one must honor a Rabbi. One must stand up when a Rabbi enters the room, escort a Rabbi on the road, etc. There is a similar law to honor a King; Maimonides says at the beginning of the Laws of Kings, Chapter 2: "we do not ride on his horse, we do not sit in his chair, we do not use his sceptre, his crown, or any of his official vestments."

There is a crucial difference, however. If a Rabbi "forgives" the honor due him, then it is forgiven. But a King cannot yield the honor due him; he must be honored in any case.

Moshe was Rabbi and teacher to all of Israel. Since he was the Rabbi, he was able to yield the honor due him, and conduct himself with the utmost humility. For this reason, his "crowning glory" was his tremendous humility. Shlomo HaMelech, however, could not yield the honor due him, and always be humble. This is why he is praised for his wisdom. Indeed, concludes the Rebbe, this required tremendous wisdom -- to demand honor on the "outside," and to act with all the power and strength of a King, yet, on the inside, remain tremendously humble!

For it takes humility to be wise, and it takes wisdom to be humble...

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Yaakov Menken


 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN:

View Complete List

The Master Smelter
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

For Your Sake
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Poor Man Fled
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5775

Looking for a Chavrusah?

You the Man; No, You the Man
Jon Erlbaum - 0

The Best Kept Secret
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Shabbos Nachamu
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

> Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

The Good, the Bad and the Beloved
Shlomo Katz - 5774

If It Makes Sense
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Addressing Concerns Part 1
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Double Standards
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Command of Love
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

ArtScroll

Irreplaceable
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Where Torah Resides
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Killer Torah
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Comfort-Able?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information