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Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah   by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

 

When Moshe was told by the Almighty that he would be the leader to approach Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Israelites, Moshe replied:

“Please my Master, send anyone else.” (Exodus 4:13

Why did Moshe seek to avoid this position of leadership?

The Ramban, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, explains that Moshe told the Almighty to send anyone else because he believed that any other person in the world would be more fitting than Moshe for this mission.

At first glance this is puzzling. How could Moshe sincerely have thought of himself as unworthy? Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin explained that even if a person is highly intelligent and wise and has accomplished very much, he nevertheless might not be working as hard as he should. With his talents and abilities, he might have accomplished a lot more if he tried harder. On the other hand, a person who seems to be very lowly perhaps is doing all that he can. The lowly person is reaching his potential, while the great person might be far from it.

For this reason, Moshe felt he was unworthy. In his humility, he thought that he was further from fulfilling his potential than everyone else.

This is a lesson for two types of people. Those who feel arrogant and conceited because of their great intellect and accomplishments should be aware that perhaps they are far from reaching their potential. This should lessen their inflated feelings about themselves. For this exact same reason, those who are trying very hard to act in an elevated manner and put in great effort should not feel envious or disheartened when they see others apparently accomplishing more than them.

One’s true spiritual level cannot be measured by any mortal. There is no accurate objective means of evaluating any person. The true level of each person is based entirely on effort and this only the Almighty can measure.

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony