Middah: Anavah/Humility


How much space are you taking up? 

This question is at the core of the middah of anavah/humility. We live in a culture where taking credit and celebrating yourself seems to be almost necessary for success in business, politics, entertainment, and sports. The Jewish view is the opposite. We learn that from a remarkable statement in the Torah that calls Moses “the most humble person on the face of the earth.” That’s the Moses who led his people from slavery to freedom by confronting the powerful leader of Egypt time and again, who led wars and eventually brought the people to the Promised Land. He was called “humble” because he filled out his role perfectly, neither going beyond what was called for (as the Pharaoh did by claiming to be a god-man) nor failing to rise to the challenges of his life.

And note that “space” here can mean actual physical space, but we also occupy other kinds of spaces as well: emotional, verbal, financial, etc. When you fill out just the right amount of space, you will be humble and have self-confidence all at the same time. Each has its place in your world. Learn how to find balance in anavah/humility in this lesson!

Please reach out to Leslie-Anne (leslie-anne@mussarinstitute.org) or Kim (kim@mussarinstitute.org) if you'd like additional information or teen Mussar resources. 

Kim Rosenthal

I have been working with youth for 15 years, nine of those in a Jewish professional capacity. Currently I serve as the Assistant Director of the Teen Program with The Mussar Institute. My role entails training educators to bring Mussar to the teens at their sites (day schools, religious school, after-school programs, etc.), curriculum development, and data management. 



  • After School and Beyond
  • Congregational Learning
  • Day Schools and Yeshivas
  • Teen Engagement

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