Commentary on Parashat Tzav, Leviticus 6:1 - 8:36
Humility is a difficult trait to teach and to acquire. We must understand the difference between humility and insecurity. Insecurity is the lack of confidence in our abilities. Humility is achieved when we have the confidence in ourselves along with awareness that our abilities are in fact gifts with responsibilities.
This week’s Torah portion contains a reminder to the Priests that they are there to serve with humility. Priests perform their Temple rituals in magnificent dress, but they must regularly perform very menial tasks such as cleaning the Altar in ordinary worker’s clothes. The priests, the most noble and sacred group in the nation, are thus constantly aware that they are to serve with humility.
There’s a perpetual tension between fostering a strong sense of self in our children and ensuring that they don’t become self-centered and egotistical. We must remember and model to our children that we are all part of a larger picture. The larger picture is our family, our community, our country, our nation, and our universe. As we grow, so should our appreciation of the vast contributions others have made to our well-being and develop our sense of awe and humility.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS about the difficulty and importance of developing a healthy humility.
CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:
· What is humility?
· Can you be very good at something and humble at the same time?
· Is there something very good or wrong with a High Priest taking out the garbage?
· Can a healthy sense of humility contribute to self-confidence?
From “Values and Ethics: Torah Topics for Today,” available from Behrman House Publishers.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.