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Sivan 1

How great are Your ways, 0 God (Psalms 92:6).

The Midrash states that when King David completed his Psalms, he was elated that he had been able to compose such wonderful praises to God. A frog then appeared and said, "Do not let your compositions go to your head. Every day I sing more beautiful hymns to God than you do."

While we may be proud of our achievements, we should realize how they pale before the majestic natural phenomena that are the immediate handiwork of God.

We can marvel at a highly sophisticated computer that can process complicated calculations in a fraction of a second. However, the most efficient computer is nothing more than a simple juvenile tinker toy in comparison with the central nervous system of any living thing, let alone the human brain. The brain is comprised of more than fourteen billion units, all intrinsically inter connected, to convey multiple messages simultaneously to one another at unimaginable rates of speed. The brain also stores far more information than a warehouse full of computers; furthermore, it can be creative and generate new ideas, while a computer can only do what it has been programmed to do.

We may be proud of the radar that allows airplanes to take off, fly, and land in darkness and fog, but the radar of the lowly bat is by far superior to that of the most advanced aircraft. Similarly, the sonar of many aquatic animals is superior to our most highly developed soundwave technology.

While we may be justly proud of our achievements as humans, they should not go to our head. We can remain humble if we compare our works with those devised by God.

Today I shall...

try to be aware that while my accomplishments may be significant, there is no reason for me to become vain because of them.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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