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I unwisely bought a bathrobe online that was listed as "one size fits all." It didn't fit me. It was hubris for a clothing company to think it could fit everyone. And if hubris and arrogance are present even in the world of online clothing, they are more than plentiful in the religious and political worlds.

From Moses to the rabbis of the Talmud to the Hasidic rebbes, Jewish authorities have agreed that the most important disposition to cultivate is annivut, humility. There are two mantras I use regularly. The first, from Pirkei Avot, is "Teach yourself to say T don't know.'" The other I learned from a colleague: "I could be wrong." When I assert the rightness of my view, my life partner reminds me that I could be wrong, and I respond that I usually am.

Humility is not meekness but, rather, the antidote to arrogance. In conversation, then, I can offer that which is right or satisfying for me without implying it will be best for the other person. For "God's greatness is made manifest in God's humility." (B. Megillah 31a).

Rabbi Victor Gross

Pardes Levavot; A Jewish Renewal Congregation

Boulder, CO

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Author:Gross, Victor
Date:Mar 1, 2016
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