Friday, March 27, 2009

Parshas Vayikra

Midah means measurement. Someone with Middos has the right amount of measurements for each characteristic. There is no such thing as a bad characteristic. Each one can be good when used at the right time, in the right way, in the right amount. I remember in 12th grade my teacher taught us why it’s important to have pride to be a good Jew, it stuck with me through all this time.

Something to Say:

From the cattle or from the flock shall you bring the offering (1:2)

The Sages tell us that the cattle, referring to bulls and cows, symbolize haughtiness, whereas the flock, referring to sheep and goats, symbolize humility. The verse mentions both to signify that these two character traits, both arrogance and humility, must be utilized in the service of God. In this context, haughtiness is not meant in a negative or destructive sense, but rather a sense of pride that is necessary to fulfill our duties. The Zohar refers to this as azus dikedushah, arrogance of holiness, the strength of character we must exercise when someone wishes to turn us away from our obligations to God.

I know some of you feel that Jews can seem haughty sometimes, or act arrogant, but you see here, really it’s needed as a survival tactic. There’s nothing wrong with being haughty in of itself, its only when it’s used for negative that it is bad.