web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Hashem And Man: Master And Servant


The-Shmuz

“The Kohen shall don a garment of linen, and he shall don linen breeches on his skin, and he shall remove the ashes.” – Vayikra 6:3

One of the daily activities in the Mishkan was taking out the ashes. Chovos Ha’Levavos explains that Hashem commanded Aaron to do this action each day “to lower himself and rid himself of the arrogance in his heart.”

This statement seems to imply that Aaron was arrogant, and that Hashem felt he needed specific work to get rid of that sense of superiority. The problem is that it is difficult to imagine that Aaron Hakohen was a haughty individual. This concept becomes even more problematic when we focus on the Torah’s description of Aaron.

When Hashem appeared to Moshe and said, “I want you to lead the Jewish people out of Mitzrayim,” Moshe refused. He was afraid Aaron would feel slighted. Up to that point, Aaron had been the leader of the nation, the one who brought the word of Hashem to the people. Now his younger brother, unheard of for sixty years, would usurp that position. As great as Aaron was, Moshe knew he was still human and would feel the pain of being displaced. Therefore, Moshe wanted no part of it.

Hashem explained to Moshe that while this might be a well-founded fear with regard to the average person, Aaron – because of his great spiritual stature – was above jealousy and competition and this wouldn’t cause him any pain. He had so eliminated bad character traits from his heart that he would feel nothing negative. In fact, when Moshe assumed this position and Aaron set out to meet him, the pasuk says, “It was with joy in his heart.”

Hashem was telling Moshe that Aaron was in a different category of people. He had mastered his nature. He was like a malach in human form.

Of all men, Aaron wouldn’t be haughty and overbearing. So why did Hashem feel it was necessary for him to take out the ashes each day to eliminate arrogance from his heart?

The answer to this question is based on understanding the underpinnings of our relationship with Hashem.

Chovos Ha’Levavos (Shaar Ha’chnah) explains a basic truism: a servant needs a master, and a master needs a servant. By definition, a servant can’t be a servant without a master, and a master can’t be a master without a servant. They are mutually dependent. With that, he explains the danger of arrogance. The arrogant person feels powerful, mighty, and independent. These are not the traits one finds in a servant; quite the opposite, these are the traits of superiors, of people who rule. For that reason, the arrogant person can’t be a servant of Hashem.

Hashem alone has the right to wear the trait of ga’avah. He alone is mighty, He alone is powerful, and He alone is independent. Anyone else who harbors these thoughts in his heart is “wearing the King’s robes.” He views himself in a manner that is false and delusional. More significantly, in that state he cannot serve Hashem. Arrogance utterly skews the relationship of man to his Creator. Its opposite, humility, is central to all avodas Hashem.

This seems to be the answer to the question. In no sense was Aaron haughty or overbearing; he was among the most modest of men. The problem was that his role required even more. As the representative of the nation, he was going into the Holiest of the Holies; any imperfection in his intentions would have spelled an imperfect avodah, so he needed to be perfect in his humility. To attain that state, he needed a physical exercise. He had to, so to speak, take out the garbage each day. By doing this, any trace of independence was eliminated from his heart, and he was able to reach that most elusive understanding: I am utterly, completely, and totally dependent upon Hashem. I am the creation, and He is my Creator. As great as Aaron was, he still needed improvement in this area, and it was only through concrete, physical actions that he could reach a state of true humility.

The Core of Being an Eved Hashem

This concept is very applicable in our lives. All of our avodas Hashem hinges upon accepting Hashem as our Master. While we may not be haughty, unless we have worked on acquiring humility there will be trace elements of arrogance in our hearts, and these will greatly impede our being subservient to Hashem. They stop us from standing as servants in front of our Master.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Hashem And Man: Master And Servant”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest Judaism Stories
Duxvielfalt_2011

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

The-Shmuz

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

A replica reminds a person of the original. Granted it is in miniature, and granted no one would mistake it for the original, but it carries, almost in caricature form, some semblance of the original.

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/hashem-and-man-master-and-servant/2013/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: