LEARN TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF
By Sherrie B. Miller
“And the man Moshe, was more humble than anyone else on earth.” (Bamidbar 12:3)
Moshe’s extraordinary character is summed up in but a few words indicating the magnitude
of the trait of humility.
Why wasn’t this illustrious personality Moshe referred to as “the wisest,” “the
kindest,” or “the greatest” man on earth?
What is so extraordinary and yet most basic about humility?
We read in Breishit 2:18: “And G-d said, “It is not good for Man to be alone.” Rashi
explains that the inherent danger of Man being alone is in regarding himself as
complete, perfect and in need of nothing, comparable to the Almighty One above.
By providing Adam with a partner, Hashem is inculcating in us the notion that we
are not the sum total of existence, and that “the world does not revolve around
us!” This is precisely why Hashem chose the smallest bush in which to appear to
Moshe and likewise chose the lowest mountain, Har Sinai, as the venue for receiving
the Torah. Hashem declares that He and the arrogant cannot dwell together. Arrogance
chases The Shechina (G-d’s Presence) away while humility connects us to Him and
The Talmud Shabbos relays the following midrash:
When Moshe descended the mountain taking leave of Hashem, the Satan came and said
to Him:”Ribono Shel Olam, where is the Torah?” Hashem answered: “It is with the
son of Amram (Moshe). The Satan then approached Moshe and asked: “Where is the Torah
that G-d gave you?” Moshe responded: “What am I that G-d should give me the Torah?”
Hashem then said to Moshe: “Moshe, are you a liar?” To which Moshe replies: “Ribono
Shel Olam, how dare I possess this special hidden treasure (The Torah) that you
delight in constantly?” The Almighty replied: “Because you made yourself small by
being so modest and humble, I will call The Torah, Torat Moshe.
How can we apply this essential message and make it relevant to dating and marriage?
If for example, a husband is a stickler for organization yet upon arriving at the
airport realizes that he carelessly forgot his passport at home, his wife made jokingly
say: “you forgot to follow your rule #48c which states: always ask yourself when
leaving home, am I forgetting something?” The husband might react with a smile and
admit not following his own rules.
By having a sense of humor, not taking ourselves too seriously and being able to
laugh at our shortcomings occasionally, we create an affectionate and safe environment
for our partner. Being lighthearted and humble assures that our partner needn’t
walk on eggshells in our presence and prevents the tendency to adopt a “superiority
We all have imperfections. The more we accept them in humbleness, modesty and humor,
the deeper and more profound our relationships will become.
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai
and a dating coach in Jerusalem. She received her counseling degree from the Michlala
in Jerusalem and an M.A. in Jewish Education from Touro College. Sherrie is certified
by Midreshet Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital
couple’s counselor and Kallah teacher.