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May 28, 2013

work hard stay humbleStephanie Rice the Australian Swimmer tweeted an image with the following quote that she thinks about daily.

“Talent is G-d given. Be humble.

Fame is man-given. Be grateful.

Conceit is self-given. Be Careful.”-  The Late John Wooden – American basketball player and coach

Below is a summary of this week’s Parsha Shelach from

At the insistence of Bnei Yisrael, and with G-d’s permission, Moshe sends 12 scouts, one from each tribe, to reconnoitre Canaan. Anticipating trouble, Moshe changes Hoshea’s name to Yehoshua, expressing a prayer that G-d not let him fail in his mission. They return 40 days later, carrying unusually large fruit. When 10 of the 12 state that the people in Canaan are as formidable as the fruit, the men are discouraged. Calev and Yehoshua, the only two scouts still in favour of the invasion, try to bolster the people’s spirit. The nation, however, decides that the Land is not worth the potentially fatal risks, and instead demands a return to Egypt. Moshe’s fervent prayers save the nation from Heavenly annihilation. However, G-d declares that they must remain in the desert for 40 years until the men who wept at the scouts’ false report pass away. A remorseful group rashly begins an invasion of the Land based on G-d’s original command. Moshe warns them not to proceed, but they ignore this and are massacred by the Amalekites and Canaanites. G-d instructs Moshe concerning the offerings to be made when Bnei Yisrael will finally enter the Land. The people are commanded to remove challa, a gift for the kohanim, from their dough. The laws for an offering after an inadvertent sin, for an individual or a group, are explained. However, should someone blaspheme against G-d and be unrepentant, he will be cut off spiritually from his people. One man is found gathering wood on public property in violation of the laws of Shabbat and he is executed. The laws of tzitzit are taught. We recite the section about the tzitzit twice a day to remind ourselves of the Exodus.

I was not planning to do a Blog, but in the last week or so I have seen so many quotes with the word “humble” . Maybe there is something I need to learn, so I have decided to do a Blog.



Bill Rodgers, winner of four Boston and four NYC marathons: “The marathon can humble you.”

Last week I attempted my first stand alone Marathon on the Great Ocean Road (GOR), the GOR provided a beautiful backdrop for a marathon and the hills provided a challenge. I can honestly say I enjoyed the run. The GOR was actually longer than a standard marathon, the last 7 km’s were pretty tough. There is a lot of work I will need to do to improve on my time the next time I run a Marathon.

In last week’s Torah Parsha the following is written regarding Moshe (Moses) “the most humble person on the face of the earth?” (Numbers 12:3), Much has been written on this statement.



I will give two little “vorts” (Yiddish – Word) on this that are life lessons:

  1. The Parsha tells us that Miriam and Aaron spoke disparagingly of Moses, but Moshe paid no attention to the insult. He did not rise in self-defense but was willing to let the matter drop. I read the following idea on“Moses was very humble, Moses was grounded, Moses was fully aware of life’s transience. Moses was able to overlook slights and betrayals because he knew that in the long run, none of this unpleasantness matters. Life is too short to fritter away by worrying about things that ultimately are nonsense. Moses’ great wisdom was in understanding the transience of life and the importance of staying grounded. “
  2. A question is asked, how Moshe could write that he was the most humble person on the face of the earth. Is this not a contradiction to humility? The following answer was given on the website – “Knowing your own greatness is no contradiction to humility. On the contrary, ultimate humility is achieved by a person who excels in good attributes but takes no credit for his greatness. He realizes that all his achievements come from G-d, and therefore he isn’t conceited or self-congratulatory.”

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

There is so much we can learn from the activities we do, like running a first marathon to reading insights into the Torah Parsha. Without putting in the effort to train, learn from experience and study you can’t grow and change.

On another Note:

I just ran a measly Marathon, this weekend a few thousand people (18,000) will be running the Comrades Marathon is South Africa. Comrades is close to 90km from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Good luck to all the BEARS (Running School – Hilton, Josh, Ruth & Andy) running and to my good friend Selwyn Kahlberg. Completing Comrades must truly be “humbling” experience!

Next weekend Anton Dembo & Doron Gluch will be doing Cairns 70.3. Anton we know you will do well. Doron, I am in awe of how far you have come and how your body has changed. Good luck guys!


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