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 TETZAVEH AND PURIM:

View Complete List

A Well Oiled System
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Eternal Lights
Rabbi Bergerl Wein - 5774

Where's Moshe?
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Just a Coincidence?
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

The Heart of Gold - Perceiving Amalek
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Triple Purim?
- 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

An Original Purim Poem: Turnabout!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Many Can Have "Urim" - Power; But Few Have "Tumim" – Power
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Keeping our Wisdom
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

> Pure Oil
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Complete Dedication
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

Like Da'as in the Wind
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

ArtScroll

Knock Before You Enter
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

The Short and the Long of it
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Allowing US To Leave The Light On For HIM
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Of Olive Oil and Menorahs
Shlomo Katz - 5775



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