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 to others.
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 complex.”
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 www.sawyouatsinai.com 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.