Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Yisro: The Kotzker Rebbe - It Takes A Mountain To Be A Man
The gemara in Sotah (5a) says that Hashem chose to give the Torah on Har Sinai because it was a low mountain and more humble than the rest.  Hashem wanted to teach us that the torah is most at home in a humble person.  If so, asks Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, why didn't Hashem give the torah on the plain or in a valley?  Wouldn't that be better lesson in anava?

The Kotzker Rebbe answers with one of the fundamental Kotzker ideas.  He says that it is very easy for someone with no special qualities to be modest.  (In fact Chazal (Pesachim 113b) say that one of the things a human mind cannot tolerate is a poor person who shows off.)  When you are a person of great stature and many fine qualities and still act modestly, that is true anivus.

Hashem taught us this lesson at Har Sinai.  Har Sinai was a real mountain, yet it acted humble unlike all the other mountains that rose with great pride above the earth.  We first need to become great mountains, and then we can work on our humility.  Until then we need to just take an honest look in the mirror using a just a smidgeon of common sense, and surely any false sense of pride we feel will fall straight into the valley.