Keyword Browse           
Sep. 28, 2020 - 10 Tishri 5781

bracha search
Recently Viewed Bracha
Croutons (Made from Bread)
Mashed Banana
Fish Sticks, Breaded
Fruit Leather
Prayers At Kotel
Hilchos 9 Days
Dead Person's Tefillin
>>go to site
Revach Lists
Names Of Moshe Rabbeinu
7 Names Of Yisro
10 Reasons for Blowing the Shofar
5 Reason Why We Dip Apples In Honey
RN"K Who Is A Good Wife by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
Acharei Mos by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
Parshas Tzav/Zachor 5771 by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
>>go to site

Tehilim List
Submit names to be said at the Kosel HaMaaravi.  Please join us in saying Tehilim 32 for:

submit names

RSS Feeds
Today's Revach
Daf Yomi
613 Mitzvot
[view all articles in this category]

Section: Daas Torah   Category: Postcards From Kotzk
Who Has An Appetite For Kavod?

When I was younger I remember my mother asking my father why some Rabbi's are such big "Kavod" mongerers. Why is it that such Torah driven people can't resist such a silly temptation that us ordinary people view as foolish and shallow. My father answered that these great people have overcome the Yetzer Hara in so many battlefields such as Torah, Tefilla, and Chesed that the Yetzer Hara has one battlefield remaining where he focuses all his energy. The War of Kavod. Us lay people are simply child's play for the Yetzer Hara as he beats us hands down in almost every challenge he poses without needing to wage the more refined and sophisticated battle of Kavod.

The Kotzker Rebbe said the Ga'ava (pride) in its most dangerous form occurs in a man who has cleansed himself of all other appetites. The greater you become the greater reason you have to feel pride. Kavod is the addictive drug that pacifies out Ga'ava. So strong is the Yetzer Hara for Kavod that the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz used to retell stories every year about his immense appetite for Kavod and his struggles to overcome it. When he was a young budding star in the Yeshiva world in Lithuania he gave Shiurim in Grodno in the Yeshiva of Rav Shimon Shkop the famed talmid of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik. Once a week, Rav Shimon would give a shiur to the entire Yeshiva, with Rav Chaim in attendance as well. Often Rav Shimon would ask a question or say something from "Rav Chaim". Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz says that although everyone knew that Rav Shimon was referring to his Rebbe, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, nevertheless he would enjoy hearing this hoping that maybe some uninformed student would erroneously think that Rav Shimon was referring to him!

In Maariv every night we ask Hashem to remove the Satan from in front of us and behind us. The Baalei Mussar explain that if the Satan cannot stop you from performing a mitzva in the first place then he tries to destroy it on the back end by planting thoughts of pride in your head after doing the mitzva. This is deadly trap since the aveira of Gaava on a macro level can cause more damage than anything else. How can one combat thoughts of pride, it seems to be a deadly unavoidable trap? If every mitzva heightens our risk for Ga'ava then the more we perfect ourselves the more susceptible we become.

The Mishna in Pirkei Avos suggests cure to the honor addiction. Run away! The Kotzker however says that running away from honor is a sign of a person who is infatuated with kavod. The Mishna says if you run from honor it runs after you. Why would it run after you if you don‘t want it? Reb Mendel explains that the Yetzer Hara of honor continues to stalk you because by running you show how much kavod means to you. When you run away from something you need to check over your shoulder to see if it is catching up and which direction it is going. You are afraid of it because you know what will do to you if it catches you. Only when you are oblivious to honor will it cease haunting you. If you can stand up in the face of honor and accept it without feeling an ounce of pride then you have slain the demon of honor inside of you.

The truth is that we love honor as much as a Rabbi only our opportunities to publicly make fools of ourselves are severely limited by the fact that we do not occupy center stage. Sadly our honor is shallower than that of a tzaddik. We want honor that is truly undeserved. When we do our token "chesed" such as driving someone to the hospital or distributing food to the poor do we wonder who knows about our kind heart? When the person collecting tzedoka flatters us do we really believe and enjoy it or are we smart enough to know it is only good salesmanship?

Reb Mendel said each person passes through three inns in this world; Kina, Ta'ava, and Kavod. In his case he says the first two posed little challenge to him but in the inn of Kavod he had a great deal of business to do. Of course he did, because of the high spiritual heights he reached. Next time we criticize a Talmid Chochom for a Kavod infraction we should stop and say to ourselves, hopefully one day we can reach his level and at least justify our feeling a sense of pride in our actions and if we get any honor at least it should at least be well deserved.


<<Previous Article
Parshas Eikev: Got Money? You Are Fabulous!
 Next Article>>
Parshas Eikev - Do You Want To Hear Good Joke?: Mitzva # 434 Clinging To Hashem
send your commentsprintable versionemail to a friend
Visitor Comments: 1

Anonymous, 2007-08-15 11:49:22
as far as kavod is concerned, one should look to Moshe rabeinu to learn how one can be a real anav. Moshe rabeinu answered the peoples complaints in the desert with the laconic statement "v'anahnu ma, lo aleinu tlunathem".

Revach Tours Now in Eretz Yisrael!

Revach L'Neshama is proud to announce that we have started offerring tours in Eretz Yisroel. If you'd like to full story

Language From Mitzrayim all the way to Yeshivishe Talk

Chazal tell us that one of the reasons Bnei Yisroel merited to be taken out of Mitzrayim was that full story

Innocent Observations
Leil HaSeder Alone in The Shadow of Corona
The Chasidim were stunned when the Holy Defender of the Jews, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev announced just a full story

Olam HaTorah
The Ponevezher Rov Teaches The Children How To Remember Their Name On Yom HaDin
One time when the Ponevezher Rov, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, came to visit the children of the orphanage, as full story

The Donkey and the Dirt

A man came to his Rebbe crying that his donkey fell into a pit and he didn't know what full story

Chanoch L'Naar
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin - The Hardest Challenge in Chinuch, When Everyone Does It!

Parshas Emor begins with the prohibition of Kohanim to defile themselves to a dead body. Hashem tells this full story

Bnei Bayscha
Some Shidduch Questions From Rav Shmuel Rozovsky

One day a Yid from Yerushalayim traveled to Bnei Brak to ask the legendary Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, Rav full story

Rav Yaakov Edelstein - The Two Words He Wanted to Be Able to Speak

The Gaon and Tzaddik Rav Yaakov Edelstein was one of the most uniques Gedolim of our generation. He was full story


Aleinu L'Shabeiach - Before it is Too Late!

In ten days from now we will standing in Shul at the pinnacle of Tefila of the year, Musaf full story

Likras Shabbos
Parshas Vayakhel: Sridei Eish - Building Shabbos & Building A Bais HaMikdash

Parshas Vayakhel talks almost exculsively about building the Mishkan, however the first few pasukim are about the Mitzva of full story

Lessons in Tzedoka

Parshas Vayakhel: Rav Chaim Soloveitchik's Long Wait

"K'chu Mei'itchem Truma" take from them donations (Vayakhel 35:5). The pasuk before says that Moshe spoke directly to full story


The Joy that Mourning Brings to a Wedding
Shlomo HaMelech tells us in Koheles (7:2) "Tov Lalaches El Bais HaEivel MiLeches El Bais HaMishteh", it is better full story

Ahavas Yisroel
Parshas Truma: Rav Moshe Shternbuch - Brilliant Colorful Diversity

Among the layers of the roof of the Mishkan was the Tachash. The Tachash was an animal with full story

Gedolim Biographies
Reb Dovid of Lelov - Is It A Crime To Favor Your Own Child?
Reb Dovid was born in 1746 and was a talmid of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk and later of the Chozeh of Lublin. full story

Story Corner
The Chortkover Rebbe Sends Regards to Hashem in America

A man living in Vienna was struggling to support his family. He decided that his fortune lies overseas in full story

Chofetz Chaim - Will Your Plaque in The Bais HaMikdash Bring You Eternal Pride or Shame?

The Chofetz Chaim (Shem Olam 1:17) says that whoever helped build the second Bais HaMikdash is listed in Sefer full story

Rav Leib Chasman - Personal Requests on Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah is the day the world was created and Hashem became King. Every year on this day we full story

Rav Chatzkel

Rav Chatzkel Levenstein - First A Smack, The We Can Talk

Chazal tell us "Oy Lani MiYom HaDin, Oy Lanu MiYom HaTochacha", woe is to us from the day of punishment, full story

Around The Year
Tu B'Shvat - The Tragedy Of The Free Leaf

"Ki Hadam Eitz HaSadeh", a person is like a tree in the field. There are many comparisons between full story

Shabbos is a Day of Three Kinds of Rest

By Mincha on Shabbos we say that Hashem gave us Yom Menucha, a day of rest. We then full story

Eretz Yisroel
Parshas Shlach: Kotzker Rebbe - Impressions Of Eretz Yisroel

"Uri'isem Es HaAretz Ma Hi... HaTova He Im Ra'a... HaShmeina He Im Razah" (Shlach 13:18-20). Moshe Rabeinu tells full story

Shaarei Tzvi - Unlocking The Best Kept Secret In Megilas Esther

Every now and theb there is a Chazal that drops a bombshell, which changes everything you everything. Its full story

Postcards From Kotzk
Kotzker Rebbe On The Dormant Monster Within

The Yehudi HaKadosh MePishischa was a Chosid of the Chozeh of Lublin, until one day one of the elder full story

Mitzva Opportunity
Parshas Re'eh: Netziv - Feeling Your Own Pain
The Torah forbids us to harm ourselves in any way when mourning over the dead because we are a full story

Ikvisa D'Mishicha
Reb Elchonon Wasserman's Last Drasha, We Are Saving The Yidden in America
Reb Elchonon Wasserman was one of the great pre-war Roshei Yeshiva in Europe.  He learned in Telz Yeshiva and full story

Perek Shira
Perek Shira: The Snake's Song - Taking a Plunge

No creature in history has taken a fall like the snake.  This once companion of man, with legs that full story

Tehilim Perek 49: Beis Yisroel of Ger - Even Some Mitzvos Won't Go With You

Dovid HaMelech tells us in Tehilim (49:18) כִּי לֹא בְמוֹתוֹ יִקַּח הַכֹּל, when you die you won't take everything full story

copyright © 2007 - 2010 Revach L'Neshama All Rights Reserved