Can you explain to us what is ga’avah and what is anavah?


Gaavoh means arrogance and anavah means humility. That is the simple teitch – that you know already. However, there are actually two different levels of anavah as has been explained here previously. One level is correct behavior towards other people, which means recognizing the value of people, the importance of people – not only your own importance. So when a person is an anav, he realizes that other people are important and not only he, so he behaves towards them with consideration. In the gemara we see that anvesonus means both humility and kindliness. Because when a person is an anav he realizes the importance of other people and he is considerate of them.

But there is another level of anavah. The other level is like this: A true anav is somebody who is humble because he realizes he is standing in the Presence of Hashem; that’s a higher madreigah of anavah. That was Moshe Rabeinu: והאיש משה עניו מאוד. Why was he the most humble? Because ותמונת השם יביט – because he looked at the likeness of Hashem all the time. When you are standing in front of a king you are really humbled. And Moshe Rabeinu always felt the Presence of Hashem – that was a higher madreiga of anavah

Gaavah also; there are two gaavos. One is a plain gaavah when a person thinks only about himself. The second is, even if he doesn’t think only about himself, but he is arrogant in the sense that he feels that the world is a hefker place. Now, he’s a maamin;he believes in Hashem. But  his belief is not so clear; he doesn’t have a clarity of the belief and so he feels he is walking in an empty world. Yes, there is Hashem in the siddur and in the chumash, but not on the street. A man that learns to feel Hashem is in the street too – when he is under the sky he feels that Hakodosh Boruch Hu is looking from the sky too, then that man can’t have gaavah. But if he doesn’t have that feeling, then he could be perhaps kindly to other people, but he feels unchecked in his life because he actually has no master over him except in the siddur and the chumash. And a master in the siddur and the chumash is easy to get rid of – you close the siddur and you close the chumash and you’re finished until mincha time. And at mincha you’ll open up the siddur and once more you face your master for a couple of minutes. And even then, He’s a kind master; He doesn’t bother you. If you’ll think about Him while you daven, so you thought about Him, and if not, so your mind can wonder to Zanzibar and Timbuktu while you’re davening and you’re not even thinking about Him at mincha either when the siddur is open. And so that kind of man is also a baal gaavah because as far as he’s concerned he’s walking in a world that is empty of Hashem. It’s only the person who is always thinking about Hashem, that person cannot be a baal gaavah.

TAPE # 402

By |2023-07-15T01:45:25+08:00April 1, 2020|Q & A|0 Comments

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