On the significance of remaining humble and not succumbing to arrogance. * Humility is essential in avoiding downfall and maintaining a proper perspective. * On Tanya for 1 Menachem Av.
Tanya quotes the verse "My sin is always before me" (Psalms 51:5). Rashi explains that "before me" implies being at a certain distance, stating, "Thus, one should always retain an awareness of his having sinned—but 'at a distance,' i.e., at the back of his mind."
The importance of humility is emphasized throughout the Jewish tradition. Proverbs 16:18 warns, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." This verse highlights the significance of remaining humble and not succumbing to arrogance. It teaches us that humility is essential in avoiding downfall and maintaining a proper perspective.
Additionally, Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) 4:4 teaches, "Do not be scornful of any person, and do not be disdainful of anything, for there is no person who does not have his hour, and there is nothing that does not have its place." This teaching further emphasizes the importance of humility. It reminds us that every person has their own unique role and purpose in the world. By recognizing this, we cultivate humility and treat others with respect and dignity.
The Talmudic teachings complement the Tanya lesson's concept of finding joy in affliction: "Those who love Him [shall be] like the sun rising in all its might" (Shabbat 88b and Gittin 36b). This comparison signifies that those who perform acts of love and are happy in affliction are likened to the powerful rising sun. It implies that by embracing challenges and finding joy even in the face of adversity, we can experience a profound spiritual growth and transformation.
Finally, the teaching that whoever passes over their feelings has their sins passed over is derived from the Talmud in Rosh Hashanah 17a. The Talmud states, "Whoever passes over his feelings, all his sins are passed over." This teaching emphasizes the power of forgiveness and the ability to let go of personal grievances. By choosing to forgive others and not holding onto negative emotions, we open ourselves to the possibility of receiving forgiveness for our own sins.
When Moshiach comes, it will be a time of spiritual redemption and the realization of ultimate truth. Cultivating humility allows us to shed ego and embrace the divine presence, aligning ourselves with the Messianic values of peace, unity, and harmony. Furthermore, finding joy in affliction takes on a profound meaning in the Messianic era. As the world transitions to a state of complete spiritual elevation, challenges may arise. By embracing these challenges with joy, we participate in the transformative process of redemption and contribute to the manifestation of the Messianic age. Ultimately, the teachings of humility, joy, and forgiveness provide us with guidance on how to prepare ourselves and actively engage in the journey towards the arrival of Moshiach.