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Be Still

"And the man Moses was exceedingly humble, more than any person."  Numbers 12:3
 
Aaron and Miriam criticized Moses over his wife, Ziporah. Why did the Torah choose to speak of Moses' humility immediately after their criticism? The Rabbis explain that humility means to be modest and patient. Moses displayed incredible modesty and patience by not responding to them. He preferred to avoid an argument rather than try to explain his behavior and convince his brother and sister that he had done nothing wrong.
 
We need humility in order to overcome our pride and avoid conflicts. Of course humility doesn't mean believing that we are no good. Moses knew where he stood. He knew Yahveh better than anyone; therefore he felt more keenly how insignificant he was compared to Yahveh. Knowing what true humility is, we can consider our own actions to see whether or not we are humble. Ask yourself, "Do I react to honor exactly the same way as I react to shame?" A humble person will treat everyone the same way, for he knows that the true measure of a person is where he stands before Yahveh. The way others treat him does not impact who he really is. A truly humble person will not feel special when he is treated respectfully, nor will he feel degraded when put to shame.
 
Rabbi Yehudah Sadkah once participated in a meeting of Torah educators, where one of the teachers, who was obviously quite upset, insulted him in front of everyone else. A nephew of Rav Yehudah witnessed this event and became enraged, and was determined at a later time to rebuke the man for what he did. Later Rav Yehudah visited his nephew and asked him, "What do you think of the man who insulted me today?" "I will not rest until that man publicly begs your forgiveness" replied his nephew. "Yes, that is what I thought you would say. You are familiar with the saying, 'Those that are insulted but not affected are like the powerfully rising sun'. Why is it in the plural? The answer is that there are always others, friends or relatives, who suffer with him. Still, not only must the victim swallow his pride, but also those who were hurt along with him."