middot humility

middahBetween superior and nothing, I exist.

Humility is about seeking a level playing field between all people. In displaying this trait, one does not seek to degrade or puff up oneself or others. Mashiach Yeshua says, “The greatest among you shall be to you as a servant. Everyone who lifts himself up will be brought low, but everyone who lowers himself will be lifted up.” (Matthew 23 : 11-12, DHE). Humility out of balance can appear two ways. One extreme displays haughtiness, while the other extreme displays groveling and self-deprecation. The obvious middle is where humility shines.

Suggested exercises:

  • In a conversation, focus intently on what the other person is saying and not on what you will say next.
  • Practice active listening and talk less.
  • Prefer someone’s needs over yours.
  • When someone says something that does not agree with your opinion, considering holding your tongue and letting it go.

featured articles


“Vayikra—and he called to Moses, and the Lord spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. . .” One single, extra small letter in the traditional text of Vayikra (Lev. 1:1-5:26) te...
by rabbi russ resnik in torah
For this round of middot, I intend to stay in the vicinity of the weekly parasha. We’re currently at the beginning of the story of Joseph, so let’s see what it might have to tea...
by rabbi russ resnik in torah
People uphold humility like its the most laudable of virtues.  I think its overrated.  I’ve seen people feign humility to the point that it’s sickening.   ...
by rabbi michael schiffman in daily living
Accepting compliments can be very hard for some people. For some, the non-acceptance is considered related to the humility they hope to demonstrate. ...
by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in daily living
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be con...
by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in daily living
Not only was Rabbi Israel [Salanter] opposed to the performance of the finer points of mitzvot at the expense of human beings, he held that one had no right even to perform the ess...
by rebbetzin malkah in stories
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Yeshua a...
by rabbi russ resnik in besorah
The Hebrew word for humility is anavah.  Anavah denotes balance; a moderate, accurate understanding of ourselves.  When we have conceit, we fill a room with our enormous...
by rebbetzin malkah in meditation

 

accounting


Use these questions to evaluate your day: What were the "seeds" that started to erode your humility today? Think of how you responded to praise, or how you responded to someon...

quotes


For who in the skies can be compared to G-d?  Who is like G-d among the heavenly beings? -- Tehillim 89:7 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wi...

 

more articles

daily living


People uphold humility like its the most laudable of virtues.  I think its overrated.  I’ve seen people feign humility to the point that it’s sickening.   ...
Accepting compliments can be very hard for some people. For some, the non-acceptance is considered related to the humility they hope to demonstrate. ...
There is a well-known anecdote about a young tourist visiting the home of Ludwig Van Beethoven; it seems the pretentious young woman, upon seeing Beethoven's piano, sat down and pla...
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be con...
Be proud of who you are. –Yogi tea bag I know what you are thinking. I now get my wisdom off of tea bag tags. Next it’s fortune cookies for me. Well, the answer is no. But when...
In recent weeks, I’ve participated in internet discussions where people have accused me of not being humble.   I never claimed to be the most humble guy in the world, but t...
Golda Meir once said, "Don’t be so humble; you’re not that great." Humility is a quality we love to see in others, and we try to feign in ourselves, but I'm not sure what passes...
“Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone on the face of the Earth.” (Numbers 12:2-4) It was this statement that first made me wonder if Moses did in fact write the ...

torah


Recently, a friend told me of a situation with another friend that was truly aggravating him, and a quote from Pirket Avot came to mind. I told my friend to remember the other perso...
“Vayikra—and he called to Moses, and the Lord spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. . .” One single, extra small letter in the traditional text of Vayikra (Lev. 1:1-5:26) te...
For this round of middot, I intend to stay in the vicinity of the weekly parasha. We’re currently at the beginning of the story of Joseph, so let’s see what it might have to tea...
The opening of Devarim is Moses’ “recap” of much that had transpired for the Jewish people while travelling towards the Land. The picture isn’t so pretty. Moses does no...
As we are approaching the half-way point of Sefirat Ha-Omer, counting the days from Passover to Shavuot (Lev. 23:10-15), we might recall that the first 32 days of the Omer are a per...
Now this man Moses was exceedingly humble, more so than any person on the face of the earth. (Num. 12:3) This verse appears in the context one of Moses' most difficult trials, a re...

besorah


As the 2012 presidential race heats up, I’m struck—and troubled—by how invested in one candidate or party many believers seem to be. It’s good to be involved in the politica...
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Yeshua a...
More than any other extremity on the human body feet get hit the hardest. Feet hold up a significant portion of our body’s weight, they sustain the greatest impact for the long...
Humility and timidity are not the same. Thankfully, it is more-or-less common knowledge now that humility is not about thinking poorly of oneself. Humility is often described in ...
Man’s self-adoration is the strongest love that God implanted within [him]. -- R. Mendel When I was still in high school, I started smoking a pipe. It was messy and inconvenient,...

mesorah


Humility perfects the will, and it thus serves as the best vessel for the reception of every blessing… When humility effects depression it is defective; when it is genuine it insp...
“What are we? What are our lives? What is our loving-kindness? What is our righteousness… What shall we say before you, Lord our God?… Are not all the mighty like nothing be...
Our Rabbis taught: ‘Sufficient for his need’ [implies] you are commanded to maintain him, but you are not commanded to make him rich; ‘in that which he wants’ [includes] even...

meditation


The Hebrew word for humility is anavah.  Anavah denotes balance; a moderate, accurate understanding of ourselves.  When we have conceit, we fill a room with our enormous...

stories


Not only was Rabbi Israel [Salanter] opposed to the performance of the finer points of mitzvot at the expense of human beings, he held that one had no right even to perform the ess...
The Baal Shem Tov once traveled with a group of his disciples to a distant village where there lived a certain parush (ascetic) who was constantly engaged in Torah study, prayer, ...

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