It is written, "If you do good, will there not be special privilege, and if you do not do good then sin is crouching at the door. It desires you, but you can overcome it." (Gen. 4:7)

"G‑d spoke to Moses from Mount Sinai [in Hebrew, 'Har Sinai'] saying…." (Lev. 25:1)

"If you do good, will there not be special privilege...?" When things go well for a person, one tends to feel proud, attributing success to one's own skill or wisdom. When things don't go well, then one feels meek or even depressed. But, "sin is crouching at the door…" - meaning that this is not the straight and desirable path for a Jew to adopt, to be always "restless and isolated", (Gen. 4:12) sometimes angry and depressed and sometimes swinging to the opposite extreme of contentment and pride.

Mountain represent pride or arrogance, while Sinai represents humility….

"Moses" represents knowledge (daat) and balance. (See Tikunei Zohar 2:19) "Mount Sinai" alludes to two opposite attributes of a person. "Mountain" represent pride or arrogance, while "Sinai" represents humility. "G‑d spoke to Moses from Mount Sinai saying…." teaches us that one must employ ones knowledge and sense of balance (i.e. "Moses") concerning the opposing attributes of pride ("Mount") and humility ("Sinai").

Sometimes one's evil inclination will escort a person to the "mountain" of pride and arrogance, leading one to erroneously estimate his abilities. At other times the evil inclination will drag one to the "Sinai" of false humility or low self esteem and depression which prevent one from serving G‑d with delight and enthusiasm.

Therefore one must employ the attribute of Moses, daat. Against the evil inclination of "Sinai" one must remind oneself, "Am I not a Jew with a soul hewn out from G‑d's treasury of souls, whose purpose in this world is to sanctify myself through G‑d's Torah and to serve as a beacon unto the nations?!" Against the evil inclination of the "mountain" type, one must remember that that same precious soul is nevertheless forced to reside in a physical body whose origin is a putrid drop and whose end is dust and ashes.

This is achieved by activating one's daat, the attribute of knowledge and balance.

[First published in B'Ohel Hatzadikim, Behar 5760]