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The Virtue of Humility

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

The Virtue of Humility

In this week’s parsha Tetzaveh, we learn about the details of the building of the tabernacle and also about the korban tamid (daily sacrifices).

The people of Israel were redeemed from slavery with miraculous signs and wonders, they were led through the desert with more miracles, received the ten commandments, and then they were commanded to build a tabernacle.

Why is so much explanation given to the building of the tabernacle? Some of our commentators explain that up until now, the people were more passive in the redemption process. However, in order to become a nation, they needed to make the relationship with G-d a mutual one, meaning they needed to take an active role and recognize G-d.

The relationship had to be an active, two-way relationship.

So why the tabernacle? It is considered a place where “G-d will dwell among them,” where they can cultivate a close relationship and deeper understanding of G-d.

So why mention the Korban Tamid?

At the end of this week’s portion, it says “and they shall know.”

The Ibn Ezra explains that Am Yisrael should remember that G-d took them out of Egypt and freed them from slavery.

Giving a daily sacrifice –morning and evening– can encourage the people to remember and acknowledge their freedom and who redeemed them.

Sometimes we forget what someone did for us after time has passed.

Maybe it’s pride, lack of humility, or just lack of awareness.

Recognizing influences outside of ourselves is called humility

Mindfulness practice can help us cultivate humility.

Humility requires self-awareness.

Humble people have an accurate picture of themselves—both their faults and their gifts.

Mindfulness fosters our self-awareness by giving us permission to stop and notice our thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Self-awareness can make us less self-focused and more focused on those around us—a characteristic of humble people.

Thinking outside of ourselves can help us be conscious of those who have helped us.

Being conscious of what you have can help you to develop a sharper awareness of those who have contributed to making you what you are.

Sometimes we appreciate someone’s words or actions but fail to communicate this to them – we assume they know.

If you develop the habit of showing appreciation in your everyday life to those around you, then it becomes more natural, and this helps foster humility.

Who would you like to show appreciation to?

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