Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Greatness of Hashem

“In the place where you find the greatness of HaKadosh Boruch Hu, that is where you find His compassionate humility.”

The Arvei Nachal, zt”l, explains this with a parable. “Once there was a great king who was traveling to a certain destination. As he was descending from his royal coach, a very coarse commoner had the audacity to approach the king and start to praise. In his own simple way, he tried to express his feelings about the greatness of his majesty. It is obvious that the servants of the king removed this commoner from the scene as soon as they could, since such primitive praise from such a lowly person is not considered a compliment to the king no matter how well meaning the man was. Everyone would understand that the fellow’s imposition on the time and attention of the king is really a huge affront—what nerve, for such a simple person do think that he has the right to approach the king! Has he no fear of his sovereign? He should have be afraid to make an advance toward the king unless he had some indication that the king wished to speak to him. Not just anyone is on an elevated enough station to praise the king. This is what bards or noblemen do with grace and eloquence, not commoners who have not even been summoned before the monarch!

“Yet Hashem is not like this at all. To approach Him, even the most exalted personage must rely on His great humility, otherwise it would be no more fitting than the lowliest commoner making an advance to speak with the mightiest ruler. Even the fact that we can call Hashem by any Name is only because of His compassionate humility! This is why Chazal sad that anywhere you see Hashem’s greatness, that is where you see His humility!”
When Rav Rafael of Barshud, zt”l, was asked about this he would say, “This means that when you find a person who hold Hashem in the highest possible esteem (gedulaso shel HaKadosh Boruch Hu), you will always find that the person is exceedingly humble (anvesanuso—of the person). And the inverse is also true: a person who lacks humility has no inclination to see the greatness of Hashem!”

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