Tishrei 13
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Tishrei 13

... in order that his (the king's) should not be lifted above his brethren, and that he should not deviate from the commandment to the right or to the left (Deuteronomy 17:20).

The Torah requires that even one who is in a position of leadership and prominence must retain his humility. Moses and David are outstanding examples of leaders who were extremely humble.

How can one remain humble when one exercises great authority and is the recipient of homage and adulation? "Simple," said Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin. "If a king hangs his crown on a peg in the wall, would the peg boast that its extreme beauty drew the king's attention to it?"

While an organized society needs leaders, and in Judaism there is a need for Kohanim and Levites who have special functions, an intelligent person should never allow a particular status to turn his head and make him think that he is better than others. Nor should men consider themselves superior to women because they have certain mitzvos from which women are exempt, and women should not think that they must attain equality by rejecting these exemptions and performing these mitzvos. There is no need to attain something that one already has. Men and women, Kohanim and Levites, leaders and kings - we are all "pegs in the wall" which the King uses for His purposes as He sees fit.

True, we should always strive for that which is above us, but this means striving for greater wisdom and spirituality, and not for positions of superiority. The latter are not at all "above" us; one peg may be higher on the wall than another, but that does not make it a better peg.

Today I shall...

try to realize that I, like all other people in the world, am but an instrument of God, wherewith He wishes to achieve the Divine will.

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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Visitor Comments: 1

(1) Dvirah, October 1, 2009 2:29 PM

Higher Pegs

On a higher peg one can hang a longer coat. This is not to say the higher peg is superior, but that due to its position it can be used where other pegs are less suitable. Likewise each of us has some quality which makes us uniquely suited for some purpose.

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