Issue 23 | Parshat Vayeira | The Humble Con-Artist



The Power of What 

Everyone’s knows the joke about the Rabbi and the Gabbai who, in a moment of Yom Kippur inspiration, were both seen crouched in their respective seats in the Synagogue beating their chests, crying: “I am nothing, I am nobody. In the face of Almighty G-d, my ego is utterly nullified.” Suddenly they noticed one of the “simpler” congregants following suit, also beating on his chest, “I am nobody, I am nothing.” The Rabbi looks at the Gabbai and exclaims: “Look who thinks he’s nobody!” 

Humility is one of the greatest virtues, and the key that opens up doors to reaching the greatest heights. But there’s humility and there’s humility – as the Baal Shem Tov teaches us in this fascinating insight. 

There is the humility of Moses – the sign of a true leader – the only man to see G-d face to face, and then there is the false humility of someone bragging: Look how humble I am… 

In a powerful and unique interpretation of the closing verse in this week’s Torah portion, coupled with an entertaining anecdote, the Baal Shem Tov teaches us the pitfalls – and even the humor – of the humble con-artist…


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