Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 23 (Part 6)

“Another deterrent to humility”, Ramchal offers (and it’s the final one at that), “is becoming friends with flatterers”, people who “steal your heart away with their praise” -- individuals we’d refer to today as “yes-men”. For what they do at bottom is “exaggerate your good points, and then praise you unjustifiably, too”. In fact, he adds, “sometimes the very thing they commend you for is what you shouldn’t be praised for at all”.

But why would any sensitive, honest soul ever sidle up to such people, knowing how fallacious they are? Because (as Ramchal reports quite tellingly) at bottom, “human intelligence is actually quite weak, and human nature is gullible and easily swayed-- especially when it comes to something it just naturally leans towards”, like hearing glowing reports about one’s own achievements. That being so, “when you hear those sorts of things being said about you by someone you trust, a certain poison enters you, and you fall into the trap of arrogance and are captured.”

In fact, “this sort of thing is clearly so in the case of most kings, lords, and people of stature”. For, “no matter where they stand spiritually, they still stumble and suffer ruination” because of their association with these sorts of people.

So we should be even “more cautious … about the sort of people we’d want to befriend”, he suggests, than we might be of the sorts of things we’d eat or drink. For, while “food or drink could only harm one’s body, bad friends and associates can ruin one’s very soul”.

It’s best to befriend “honest people who will open your eyes to things you’re blind to, and reproach you (when that’s called for) lovingly”. Good friends like that “will save you from harm”, since “they would warn you about harm (that may come your way) and protect you” from any spiritual damage that could come to you.


 

Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org

Rabbi Feldman's new book, Bachya Ibn Pakuda's The Duties of the Heart, is now available! Order Now


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

The Importance of Order
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

"HaKol B'Seder!"
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

> The Great Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5764

And You Shall Tell Your Son
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5774

What's With the Number Four?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Pesach Food
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Break Free!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Looking for a Chavrusah?

In Lamb
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Good ‘Till the Last Drop
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Who Knows One?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

ArtScroll

Cyclical Celebrations
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

To Be Chosen Again
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Seven Perfect Weeks
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

Worth the Struggle
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767



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