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The Crown of Halacha

Bamidbar 5777 – Forgoing Honor For the Sake of Peace

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Bamidbar 5777

Bamidbar 5777 – Forgoing Honor For the Sake of Peace

“BnaiYisrael did everything that Hashem commanded Moshe, so did they do.”  (Bamidbar 2:54)

Since we are told that BnaiYisrael did what was asked of them, why are we told a second time that “so did they do”?Hashem is praising BnaiYisrael for marching in a specific order. What was so hard about that?

It’s Not That Easy to Follow Orders

We see from here a very important lesson. Even though we all know what is “right and wrong” to do, it is not always easy to do the right thing, especially when one’s kovod is at stake.

One of the greatest honors during our travels in the midbar was to be the head of a formation. Shevet Yehudah was the head of the East, Reuven was head of the south, Ephraim was head of the west and Dan was head of the north. However, Gad had a legitimate complaint. Since he was a bachor (first born) from Zilpah, he could claim to be a leader and deserving of a higher place than Ephraim.  Yet he stayed quiet and accepted Moshe’s directions. Chazal tells us that the reward given to Shevet Gad for being ma’avir on their middos was that Moshe Rabbainu is buried in their portion of land.

Men, Forgo Your Honor for Peace!

If we take this idea one step further we can apply it to ourselves. For example, if a husband and wife get into an argument, it is important for the husband to immediately admit he was wrong – even when he is right! This advice will save you from countless hardships. True gevura is shown when one holds his tongue in the face of losing one’s kovod.

Being Ma’avir on your Middos BringsYou Close to Hashem

Shevat Gad trusted in Hashem and believed that Hashem is dealing with them fairly. Chazal tells us that MoshemRabbainu was buried on their land because they were close to him. This closeness was enabled through accepting Moshe’s decision even though they could’ve argued against it.

You Never Lose by Honoring Others

It is counterintuitive to give in when you are right. At first, this may seem impossible or at best difficult. However, chazal tells us that the strong person is one who conquers his evil inclination. And if you’re right, so what? Sometimes, in order to honor someone else, being silent is the right thing to do.

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