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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Some big thoughts about not acting so big


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By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

The finest of all traits

“The man, Moses, was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth.”

  —   Numbers 12:3

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of all the character traits of Moses, the Torah (Bible) cites only one: His humility. Of all the undesirable character traits a person may have, there is only one that repels the presence of G-d: Vanity (Arachin 15b). Here are several comments on the importance of humility.

  • Rebbe Yehoshua of Ostrova said that a vain person is even worse than a liar. ''A liar does not believe his own lies, whereas a vain person is convinced of his superiority.''

  • Rebbe Refael of Bershed said, ''Some people pursue acclaim and thrive on being honored. Little do they realize that in order to receive honor, you must actually lower yourself. One can only pour into a container when it is held lower.''

  • Rebbe Pinchas of Koritz said, ''Every sin requires some action or object. Vanity requires nothing. A person may be lying under blankets and think, 'How great I am.'''

  • Rebbe Mendel of Kotzk said, ''A person who seeks recognition is much like a goat that wears a bell around its neck to announce its whereabouts.''

  • Chovos HaLevovos says, ''A person who is free of all sin is at risk of the greatest character defect: to consider himself a tzaddik [saint].''

  • A vain person came to see Rebbe Avraham the Malach (angel). He found him standing by the window, looking out. ''See that hill?'' he said. ''It is only a pile of earth, yet it stands high as if it were superior to others.''


In "Angels Don't Leave Footprints", I cited a number of ethicists who say that humility does not mean denying one's talents and abilities. Although Moses was the humblest of all people on earth, he knew that he had achieved a level of prophesy never attained by anyone else.


When Miriam and Aaron spoke critically of Moses, G-d reprimanded them: ''In my entire house, he (Moses) is the trusted one. Mouth to mouth do I speak to him, in a clear vision and not in riddles, at the image of G-d does he gaze. Why did you not fear to speak against My servant Moses?'' (Numbers 12:7-8) These verses, just like the entire Torah, were written by Moses. He knew his uniqueness, but it not detract from his humility.


Truly humble people shun acclaim. Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (Tzemach Tzedek) took his young son, Shmuel, with him on a journey. Shmuel wrote home about the throngs of people that had greeted his father and the great honor he had received. When the Tzemach Tzedek found the letter, he said to Shmuel, ''My blood was spilling like water, and this gave you pleasure?''


The Talmud says that the last eight verses in the Torah, which relate Moses' death, were written by Moses at G-d's dictation, and Moses cried as he wrote them (Bava Basra 15a). A chassidic master suggested that Moses was not crying because he was writing about his own death, but because G-d dictated, ''Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom G-d had known face to face'' (Deuteronomy 34:10). It gave Moses great pain to write this adulation about himself. It is quite simple to efface oneself before a great scholar. The greatness of Moses' humility was that he effaced himself before the lowliest person: ''Moses was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth.''


As pointed out, humility is not a denial of one's capacity. Moses knew that he had the responsibility of leadership, and when implementation of authority was called for, he did not hesitate to assert himself. That is true humility.


Our ethical works emphasize the importance of humility, and provide instruction on how one can know one's personality strengths, yet avoid the objectionable trait of vanity. Studying the works of mussar (ethics) is of the utmost importance to enable one to avoid vanity while maintainng a healthy self-esteem.


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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Twerski on Chumash" (Bible), from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR). Comment by clicking here.

© 2009, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.