Midot Hayom: Day 26: Hod in Netzach
Teach the members of your household humility. If a poor man comes to the door of a humble man with a humble family, asking: “Is your father in?” they will answer, “Yes, please come in.” Even before he steps inside, the table is set for him. When he eats, drinks and praises God, great happiness and contentment is bestowed on the master of the house. But if a poor man stands at the door of one who is not humble and whose family members are quick-tempered, asking “Is your father in?” they will answer, “No,” and scold him, angrily chasing him away. Avot of Rabbi Nathan 7:2
Moshe Rabbeinu, the personification of Netzach, is known as the most humble of people. This selection connects the quality of humility with generosity. A family’s humility will lead them to open their home to the poor and to rush to make him feel comfortable and honored. Their humility allows them to see the beauty of the person knocking on the door, and not to focus on his being poor. How can such humility be taught as instructed by the Mishna? It must be a reflection of the parent’s humility. His humility is so real that it becomes obvious to others and influences them to act in the same vein. In order for his humility to influence others, it must be a reflection of his sense of Netzach: He is humble because he understands that from the perspective of Netzach – The Eternal – he is insignificant. His humility will actually connect people to the eternal value of God, and the glory of others.