• Rabbi Ariel Tal

Stay Humble. Be Kind.

Be Kind. That was the message from our Prime Minister after each and every alert level briefing and in the COVID-19 government website and around signs on the motorways as well. It was a simple, effective, and very important message. Our values matter when it comes to holding each other accountable, keeping to regulations,

and how we handle ourselves during stressful and challenging times. However, I believe now that we are officially (and hopefully sustainably) ahead of the curve in terms of COVID-19 there is another value we need to add to the messaging - Stay Humble.


Humility is a fundamental Jewish value, and one could argue the most important attribute in Judaism in the macro sense and in each individual’s personal life as well. Humility in Hebrew is “Anava” (ענוה). The Torah goes out of its way to emphasize that Moshe Rabeinu was the “Most Humble of all People” in Parashat Beha’alotcha. Moshe is the epitome of humility, and for this quality alone was able to be the only person who could facilitate the giving of the Torah. The Midrash gives an analogy to receiving prophecy and points out the clear distinction between the prophecy of Moshe Rabeinu and all other prophets. The other prophets received a message from God like sunlight coming through stain-glass windows, whereas the prophecy of Moshe was like sunlight coming through a clear sheet of glass, or “Aspaklariya Hame’ira” (אספקלריא המאירה). Stain-glass windows are beautiful, but when the light shines through it projects the col