Biblical Personalities: Moshe at his Maximum
The Holy One, Blessed is He, rests His presence only on one who is mighty, rich, wise, and humble. All of these [traits] are [learned] from Moses: mighty from the verse, “He spread the tent over the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:19), [or] from the verse, “I took hold of the two tablets, cast them out of my two hands, and broke them” (Deuteronomy 9:17); rich, [from the verse] “Carve yourself two tablets of stone,” (ibid. 10:1) – the remnants [of the precious stone] are for you; wise, [as] Rav and Shmuel said: Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world and all but one were presented to Moses, as it is written, “You have made him only a little less than the angels,” (Psalms 8:6); [and] humble, as it is written, “The man Moses was exceedingly humble,” (Numbers 12:3) (Nedarim 38a).
A faithful man shall abound with blessings (Proverbs 28:20). This refers to Moses. All things over which he was treasurer were blessed , because he was faithful (Shemot Rabbah 51:1).
“I have not taken the donkey of one of them (Numbers 16:15). [Even] that which I had the right to take, I did not take from them. It is customary that a person who takes care of sacred property takes his fee from the sacred property. When I went from Median to Egypt, I had the right to take a donkey from them since I was going for their sake, but I did not take one” (Bamidbar Rabbah 18:10).
Moshe did not only possess the qualities of strength, wealth, wisdom and humility, as qualities, but each one at its maximum. Each of the verses describes Moshe’s qualities at their absolute maximum, beyond typical human attributes. Each quality was an expression of Moshe’s Netzach, and each was safe in his hands, because he was faithful in his Yesod – he appreciated the source and Foundation of each quality, not as his, but coming from God.
His faithfulness was so complete an expression of his Netzach, that he infused each with the power that derived from the Yesod, and each brought abundant blessing.
Only in the hands of the man of Netzach, directed by Yesod, can a person possess unparalleled might, wealth and wisdom, and maintain his humility, never abusing his power, and never allowing his extraordinary qualities to go to his head.
Each of us possesses unusual qualities. They may not qualify us to merit prophecy, but they do allow us to gather the “remnants of the precious stones,” insights of the Oral Law. We often hesitate to acknowledge our strengths for fear of arrogance. Yesod in Netzach reminds us that our gifts are from God and must be acknowledged. As long as we recognize God’s gifts to us we can maintain our humility or faithfulness.
We often praise children and students for their abilities. Yesod in Netzach reminds us to always offer such praise in a spirit of faithfulness, as gifts from God.
What are my unique gifts?
How can I use them?
How do I use them?
Am I ever arrogant because of my gifts?
Acknowledge each ability as a gift from God, and rooted in Him.
Review each child’s unique strengths with him or her. Describe them as gifts from God, that demand only that awareness of being from God to allow him or her to access those strengths.