8 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. 9 And call no one your ‘father’ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Nedarim 55aBabylonian Talmud
Rava said to him that it means: Once a person renders himself like a wilderness, deserted before all, the Torah is given to him as a gift [mattana], as it is stated: “And from the wilderness Mattana.” And once it is given to him as a gift, God bequeaths [naḥalo] it to him, as it is stated: “And from Mattana Nahaliel.” And once God bequeaths it to him, he rises to greatness, as it is stated: And from Nahaliel, Bamot, which are elevated places. And if he elevates himself and is arrogant about his Torah, the Holy One, Blessed be He, degrades him, as it is stated: “And from Bamot the valley” (Numbers 21:20). And not only is he degraded, but one lowers him into the ground, as it is stated: “And looking over [nishkafa] the face of the wasteland” (Numbers 21:20), like a threshold [iskopa] that is sunken into the ground. And if he reverses his arrogance and becomes humble, the Holy One, Blessed be He, elevates him,
Notes and References
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