Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Ch. 11 (Part 14)

We were warned early on against arrogance by Moses, when he foresaw that there would be times when a person “will come to make (his) heart haughty and forget G-d your L-rd" (Deuteronomy 8:14), given that it’s easy enough to forget G-d when you’re full of yourself. So arrogance is clearly an old and odious problem we’d need to avoid.

But first a definition of the term: as Ramchal puts it, “arrogance comes down to consciously or unconsciously thinking yourself worthy of praise” and act accordingly. He then presents us with illustrations of various sorts, with some subtle and amusing differences.

A certain sort of egotist “would consider himself so unique, impressive and worthy of praise, and so he’d think it only right for him to conduct himself uniquely, impressively and respectfully” in one way or another. So he might “only walk at a leisurely, studied pace” for example, “or would sit leaning to his side” simply because that makes him look special, which he would want to come across easily enough.

Another might make a point of always “rising up (from his place) slowly and deliberately, like a serpent”, or he might think it only right for someone of his caliber “to not speak with just anybody, but only with important people”, and to “speak in short, pithy,=2 0seer-like phrases”, to seem wise and unique. And he’d do everything “in a heavy-handed way, as if his flesh was lead, and his bones were stone or sand”, to stand out and be noticed.

Others might believe that they’re so great and important to begin with that they really don’t need to be honored, so they’d act modest to draw attention to themselves and act terribly humble while actually glowing in their hearts in pride, saying to themselves something like, "I’m so great and important (to begin with) that I don’t need any more respect, so I can renounce it”.

Another egotist would “want to make a great impression with his superiority and be recognized as being unique” so that, rather than wanting everyone to praise him for the greatness, “he’d like everyone to praise him for being the most humble person in the world!” Ramchal offers.

And there’s another who “believes he’s a great sage who knows absolutely everything”, so he totally “disregards everyone else’s opinion, and surmises that if the subject at hand is difficult for him it must be impossible for everyone else”.

But the truth be known, each one of us falls into one or more of these categories from time to time. So it would do us all well to catch sight of ourselves now and be more humble.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Murphy's Day
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

What Are We Mourning on the Ninth of Av
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

The Red Heifer Reality
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Medicinal Treatment
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

When Moshiach Comes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Holy Words!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

ArtScroll

Journey from Egypt to the World-to-Come
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

From the Depths of Your Heart
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

> Wandering Jew
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

What to Make of My Summer Break?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Not Very Promising
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Fresh Look – at Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Which is the Bigger Wonder?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Recognizing the Honor and Kindness of Others
Rabbi Yona Zohn - 5761

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information