the Epitome of Humility

B”H

Lag b’Omer

hod shebbe hod

humility within humility

The essence of humility is humility. Profound. Even more profound: at the depths of our humility, the soul is encompassed by splendor. Because hod is sometimes rendered as humility, and other times as splendor, there must be a connection between these two aspects of the middah (character trait). The explanation, in a nutshell, is that by humbling ourselves, we are raised up.

In the eyes of others, those who are sincerely humble, are often overlooked by others; yet, their splendor radiates in unseen realms. On the other hand, those who aggrandise themselves, do so to be seen; yet, they may only be great in their own eyes. The splendor that lasts is conferred by G-d, and G-d alone. His glory outshines ours; however, He may bestow some of His glory upon us, when we humble ourselves before Him.

“For thus saith the High and Lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 59:7, JPS 1917 Tanach).

the humility of endurance

B”H

omer Count: 26

hod shebbe netzach

(humility within endurance)

Tenacity, perseverence, and resilience in the face of setbacks, allows us to be persistent in the pursuit of our goals. Yet, humility will keep an overly ambitious nature in check, so that we will not lose sight of our limitations. “Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, 1917 Tanach). Therefore, consider the example of the narrative, concerning the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Shall we raise ourselves up above G-d in our hubris? (See Genesis 11:4). Rather, instead, we are best served by our own humility, when we are able to adhere to the blueprints of G-d.