Shiur presented in 5778
The Bottom Line
The parshah of tzara’as teaches us that ga’avah is a plague that affects every person, from small to great. Ga’avah manifests itself when a person feels that he wasn’t honored or recognized enough for his chochmah. And that’s why the highest motivation for ga’avah involves one’s chochmah – whether one is a car mechanic, computer engineer, doctor, or a talented yungerman. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with being aware of our talents and feeling good about our individual or professional accomplishments – provided that we use them to help and assist others – we should be careful not to seek praise and honor for our chochmah. The powerful words of the Beis Halevi and Rav Yerucham – of how people would stay away from us like one stays away from a toevah, if they could only read our thoughts – should alone humble us and inspire us to change!
This coming week, I will, bli neder, identify one area where I am very sensitive and often respond with arrogance and ga’avah when challenged. Once I know this area, I will draw on the powerful lesson from the Mesillas Yesharim and will practice humbling myself in my thoughts first, before attempting to correct my ma’asim. And in that zechus of working on becoming a more humble person, I will, IYH, improve and strengthen my relationships with my family, spouse, children and, ultimately, Hakodosh Boruch Hu!