Are You Looking Out For Yourself?

Friday, 1 June, 2018 - 4:04 pm

Ironically, it is not in your best interest to look out for your best interest!

This week’s Torah portion describes Moses as exceedingly humble.

What does it mean to be humble? Did Moses really consider himself inferior or less than others? Did he not appreciate his great talents? Did he not realize that he stood head and shoulders above everyone else?

Humility in Judaism does not mean thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.

Moses was well aware of his greatness but his life was other-centered, not self-centered. His talents were completely directed towards the benefit of the community, not himself. The arrogant person sees only himself, Moses saw past himself. This is true humility.

Why embrace this type of humility?

Because you will be happier.

The less your life is about you the better it Is for you.

 I’ll prove it to you.

The next time you are really upset, go and do a mitzvah. See if you can remain upset during the act. You can’t. It’s impossible.

This is the power of humility. It allows you to see past, or transcend, your limited self and truly connect with the people and world around you. On the other hand, self-centered people see only themselves which leads to loneliness and depression.

How does one attain humility?

It’s actually quite simple.

It’s all about the questions you ask yourself.

Train yourself to ask “What am I giving to this relationship?” rather than “What am I getting out of this relationship?” Instead of always asking “What’s in it for me?” ask “Will this benefit others? When you wake up in the morning ask “What can I give to the world today?” rather than “What can I squeeze out of the world today?”

These simple questions will habituate you to see life through the lens of humility rather than arrogance and lead you to a life of connectedness and happiness.

Shabbat Shalom 

Rabbi Benjy Silverman 


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