Dear SHA Community,
This week, we commemorated shavua ma'asim tovim - Good Deeds Week. Teachers and students prepared and distributed notes of appreciation to colleagues and friends. Our Kindergarten visited Kline Galland Home and played music for the residents. One thoughtful young student won last week’s Hershey Kiss bonanza at the STEM Fair and, without any prompting, shared his winnings with his classmates and teachers.
In honor of Good Deeds Week, I will share a Torah thought about righteousness:
From the perasha, Perashat VaYikra
“G-d called Moses from the Tent of Meeting and said…”.
This opening verse communicates the greatness of Moses and the close prophetic relationship that he maintained with Hashem.
The Greatness of Moses
Moses was one of a kind. Maimonides writes that one of Judaism’s fundamental tenets is that Moses is the greatest prophet in the past and future and that his perception of Hashem is superior to all other people. This passage echoes one of the final verses in the Torah - never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses—whom Hashem singled out, face to face.
However, another teaching from Maimonides seems to contradict this fundamental tenet. He writes, “anyone is fit to be a righteous person like Moshe Rabbenu”.
Given the uniqueness of Moshe Rabbenu, how is it possible to say that anyone is fit to be righteous like Moshe Rabbenu? Can we truly be as righteous as Moshe?
An Answer - What is Righteousness?
In his sefer, Chidushei Halev, Rav Henoch Leibowitz teaches that Moses’ level of comprehension and perfection are indeed unattainable. However, righteousness is measured on a different scale.
Righteousness is measured by the level of personal perfection compared to that person’s abilities. In other words, the measure of one’s righteousness is dependent on a person’s growth. One who truly maximizes his or her abilities in personal perfection realizes the level of righteousness of Moses.
We each have limitations based on our individual constitution and context. However, each of us are charged with the responsibility of developing ourselves maximally and attaining the highest level of personal perfection possible.
Mazel Tov to the Feuer family on the occasion of Liam's Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat.