2-½ minutes to read
Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Tzav – Leviticus 6:1-8:36
People acknowledge the value of humility. In particular, veterans are humble. But too often such modesty impedes their ability to get a good job. When challenged, they say promoting themselves is wrong. Parshas Tzav has a different perspective:
“This is the law of the burnt offering:” (Vayikra/Leviticus 6:2)
This Sabbath’s parsha continues the discussion of the korbanos (the offerings brought on the Altar) and details the anointing of Aaron and his sons as the Kohanim or Priests who will serve in the Temple.
Connecting Sacrifices and Humility
Farther into Leviticus we read an animal that is blind or broken or has a split eyelid or wart cannot be used as a burnt offering. As was made clear back in Genesis in the trouble between Cain and Abel, G-d wants offerings to be of the finest we have.
This holds true even though we no longer bring animal or meal sacrifices.
Today prayer has replaced the sacrificial service. When you pray, G-d wants you to open your heart. This requires humbly recognizing all you have comes from the Almighty. In humility you should acknowledge the many mistakes you’ve made and your gratitude that nonetheless G-d loves you. You offer your love in return.
If you are arrogant G-d will still listen to your prayer, but like a damaged animal, may reject your petition.
Humility verses Self-Promotion
People often equate self-promotion with arrogance. But you’re not conceited simply because you let people know about your skills and strengths. To the contrary, if you can add value to someone’s life you have a responsibility to do so. You’ll have to explain to him why you are the best person to help.
There are times when humility looks like a lack of self-confidence. People don’t trust a meek person to handle their problems.
By not clearly expressing the value you bring to the table, you’re forcing someone to figure it out on his own. He won’t. Instead he’ll hire someone who makes his life easier by showing him he has what it takes. You and your family lose out. The Almighty does not want you to impoverish yourself with such false humility.
If you’re not used to marketing yourself, use these guidelines:
- Always tell the truth. Implying you have skills that you don’t is worse than conceit. You’ll be exposed in the end.
- Talk about them at appropriate times. People will tell you when they want to know more about you.
- Be brief. Long-winded descriptions smell of conceit.
When you follow these three criteria, and thank G-d for the gifts He has given you, you’ll keep your humility in balance.
What prevents you from promoting yourself effectively? Please comment below.
Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. It is named after the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.
What verse in the Old Testament would you like to know more about? Ask a question and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!