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Mishlei 22-29


Key Concepts

In every field of human endeavor there is a distinct level of professionalism. A person who aspires to reach the top of his profession, looks to serve the kind of person who appreciates and demands the best. That means he wants to serve royalty because kings have typically grown accustomed to the highest quality of professional skills among the people who serve them.

This concept tells us something about serving Hashem. A person should develop his skills and his level of competence so that the quality of his service to Hashem is of a type that is suitable for the most spiritual of beings.

Exploring Mishlei

כט = חָזִיתָ אִישׁ מָהִיר בִּמְלַאכְתּוֹ לִפְנֵי מְלָכִים יִתְיַצָּב בַּל יִתְיַצֵּב לִפְנֵי חֲשֻׁכִּים

(29) Have you seen a man who is competent in his profession? He will stand before kings who have high expectations. He will not stand before ordinary mortals of low expectations.

In this proverb, Mishlei refers to a distinct level of competence, which is the level achieved by a person who has high expectations of himself. Such a person makes a conscious effort to do his best, because he knows his performance is being judged by the Creator of the world.

Learning Mishlei

(29) Have you seen a man who is competent, חָזִיתָ אִישׁ מָהִיר
in his profession?בִּמְלַאכְתּוֹ
He will stand before kings.
לִפְנֵי מְלָכִים יִתְיַצָּב
He will not stand before ordinary mortals.בַּל יִתְיַצֵּב לִפְנֵי חֲשֻׁכִּים

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