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    Sometimes we take

    ourselves a little too seri-
    ously, and feel a little – or

    a lot – too proud of our-
    selves. A person’s

    wealth, good looks, so-
    cial standing, profession-
    al achievements, or even religious accom-
    plishments have a way of making him feel

    too important, too confident, and too great

    An extreme example of this phenomenon
    is told in Parashat Vaera.
    Hashem instructed Moshe to go speak to
    Pharaoh at the river early in the morning.
    The Midrash explains that Pharaoh claimed
    that he was a god, and so he made sure to
    never be seen using the restroom. He would
    arise early in the morning and go to the river
    to perform his bodily functions. The Rabbis

    also teach that Pharaoh claimed that he creat-
    ed the Nile River. He saw himself as a god.

    None of us go so far as to think we’re
    gods, but we do sometimes tend to “idolize”
    ourselves in some way. We feel a little too
    proud about our achievements, our job, our
    position, or how people look highly at us.

    We fall into delusion about how accom-
    plished we are, and, like Pharaoh, try to for-

    get that we’re flawed, limited human beings.

    Right after Hashem appeared to Moshe

    Rabbenu at the burning bush and charged

    him with the most important and distin-
    guished mission ever – to lead Beneh Yisrael

    out of Egypt, and bring them to Mount Sinai

    where they would receive the Torah – some-
    thing shocking happened. As Moshe lodged

    in an inn along his journey to Egypt, Hashem
    nearly killed him, because he had failed to
    give his son a berit milah. Right when Moshe

    accepted the most important job ever as-
    signed to a human being, Hashem sent him a

    message, essentially saying, “I don’t need

    you. If necessary, I could get this done with-
    out you.”

    We should feel proud of our accomplish-
    ments, but we must make sure not to feel too

    proud. Even Moshe Rabbenu, the greatest
    and most accomplished leader in history, was
    not indispensable.
    We need to stop idolizing ourselves – and
    also stop idolizing other people.
    Moshe, as great as he was, suffered from

    a speech impediment. One commentator ex-

    plains that Hashem specifically made Moshe

    flawed so that people would not mistake

    him for some kind of Hashemly creature. It

    was critically important for them to remem-
    ber that he was just human, that he wasn’t

    perfect, that he was flawed.

    When we idolize people – either our-

    selves or other people — this is a deficiency in

    our emunah, in our faith in Hashem, in our

    belief that He exerts full control over every-
    thing in the world.


    We often tend to idolize certain figures– athletes, singers, actors, politicians, very
    wealthy people, and even Rabbis. Certainly,
    there are famous and accomplished people
    who rightfully deserve our admiration and

    respect. There are politicians who deserve
    our support and our gratitude for the good
    things they’ve done. But we must be very
    wary of idolizing them, of raising them on
    too high a pedestal, on depending on them
    too much, and on investing in them too

    much. Even great people – even Moshe Rab-
    benu!! – are only human. The only perfect

    being upon whom we should trust and rely in
    Putting too much belief and trust in

    people undermines our belief and trust in
    Hashem. Let us stop idolizing ourselves and
    other people, and always remember that only
    Hashem is in full control of the world – and
    that He is the only one we should ever