The Greatness of Humility
The month of Aries offers us the gift of lessening the grip of the ego, allowing us to grow closer to the Light of the Creator. If we truly desire to be close to the Light, and to be vessels through which it can flow, we must clearly understand that everything we do is only through the power of the Creator. We must maintain this awareness no matter how important or powerful we become in the material world.
What are the qualities of a powerful personality, a successful leader, or a great teacher? It would seem that total confidence in oneself is necessary for inspiring the confidence of others. Yet Moses, who is surely the Bible’s greatest example of leadership in action, seems to have been extremely hesitant to undertake the role that the Creator designated for him.
When the Creator told Moses, “Now go, and I will send you to Pharaoh,” Moses replied, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” He was convinced that there must be others more suited than he for the mission of liberating the slaves. The sages even tell us that, before accepting this mission, Moses argued with the Creator for seven days.
Moses, of course, did eventually appear before Pharaoh. Yet he made it very clear that he was only acting as an instrument of the Creator, and that he had no stature or power on his own. He said, “The Creator has sent me to you saying let my people go, that they may serve Him in the desert.” But Pharaoh refused, and challenged Moses with a mocking question:
“Who is the Creator that I should listen to him?”
Surprisingly, Moses did not confront Pharaoh at this point, nor did he ask him to change his decision. Instead, he said to himself, “I have done my duty.” Before Moses would take the next step in the struggle for liberation, the Creator had to command him all over again in almost the very same words: “Go and speak to Pharaoh, the King of Egypt…” It was as if Moses, one of the greatest leaders in all of human history, was fleeing from responsibility and from the stature that comes with it.
In order to understand Moses’ actions, we need to put aside any conventional understanding of humility and reluctance to serve. While it is true that Moses was humble and was convinced that others were more capable than he, on an even more basic level Moses saw himself as purely an instrument of the Creator. He felt that he could do what the Creator had commanded him to do, but he could do no more. On his own, he had no more power or initiative than any other tool. He was like a rake or a shovel in the Creator’s hands. This is how Moses saw himself, and this is the fundamental explanation for what seems like extreme reluctance to assume a leadership role
There is no doubt that Moses felt the pain of the enslaved nation. He even said, “I would die to relieve your pain.” He also knew that the time had come for the nation to be redeemed, and that he was chosen to be the redeemer. Moreover, the Creator had told him if he would not redeem the Israelites, nobody else would. Yet Moses was certain that he himself did not and could not do anything on his own. It would always be the Creator who took the nation out of Egypt. Moses realized that his mission was to be a tool for the Creator to use.
Moses was always aware that he did nothing, and that it was the Creator’s Light that accomplished all the great miracles through him. Had he let personal pride or ego creep in, the pure flow of the Light would have been blocked. It was because Moses remained a pure vessel for the Light, and a pure instrument for the desire of The Creator, that he became a great messenger, a superb leader, and the liberator of his people.
This month, when we understand this lesson as Moses did, we can truly connect to the Creator’s Light. If we allow ego to get in the way, it will hinder the flow of Light to us, and through us to the entire world. Conversely, the more we emulate these traits of humility, the more good work and healing we can bring into the world.
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