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Beshalach: Practical Benefits Of Avoiding Pride Through Humility
There is a well known principle that states that we can learn more about Biblical terms by the way they are used throughout the entire . In , R. Yehuda uses this principle to shed light on the word Habitation (as it appears in the following verse):
"You have led forth in Your mercy this people whom You have redeemed. You have guided them in your strength to Your Holy Habitation" (Shemoth 15:13)
On this verse, R. Yehuda said in the name of Rav: "All who parade themselves in the cloaks of Torah scholars without being Torah scholars are not admitted into the abode of the Holy One Blessed Be He, as it is written (Habakkuk 2:5): The proud man shall not inhabit, and: to Your holy Habitation [indicating that it is "Your Habitation" that they shall inhabit] (Bava Bathra 98a).
Thus, there appears to be an inverse relationship between pride or hypocrisy, and heavenly reward.
G-D takes this one step further by instructing us to "expose hypocrites in order to prevent profanation of the Name."1 The bottom line is that pride and hypocrisy will not be tolerated below (on Earth) or above (in the Heavenly Abode). We further find that "G-D is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart." (Ps. 34:19)
Can Humility Protect Our Wisdom ?
Although scripture hints at a reward (above), does it also allude to an observable, Earthly reward for the practice of humility (which is the opposite of pride and hypocrisy) ? Rava said that "Even as a lower doorsill makes it possible for doors to close and open, so is humility a hedge for protecting wisdom." 2 "Rav Judah said in the name of Rav: When a man boasts, if he is a sage, his wisdom departs from him; if he is a prophet, his gift of prophecy departs from him." 3
Thus, this week's indicates that humility is a concrete way to protect our wisdom.
1 B. Sanh 106b; Yalkut, Ps., 761
2 Ka R. 3:6
2 B. Pes 66b
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