Photo Credit:
(L-R) Lance Armstrong and Neil Armstrong

The lesson of Neil Armstrong is a more uplifting one. Attempt to accomplish great things – indeed, take one small step by one small step in creating and becoming a giant leap of a man for all mankind – but remain humble while doing so. Reach the moon of accomplishment but don’t become arrogant and aloof as a result of your greatness. Retain and maintain humility and modesty. As Chazal (Avos 2:9) say, “If you have learned much Torah, don’t give yourself a lot of credit, for this is why you were created.” Feel as if you are just doing your job and don’t allow yourself to become a pompous celebrity. Never forget that you must view yourself as a servant, an eved Hashem, and don’t try to cash in on your “celebrity” in any way for self-serving purposes.

Perhaps these are some of the lessons we are meant to learn from the tale of two Armstrongs in Elul.

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Rabbi Boruch Leff is an assistant principal at Torah Institute in Baltimore and the author of five books. To schedule a speaking engagement with Rabbi Leff or to receive two books for the price of one – “Shabbos in My Soul” and “More Shabbos in My Soul” (Feldheim) – or to purchase the book “Are You Growing?” (Feldheim) at 40% off, contact the author at sbleff@gmail.com.

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