Get Over Your Ego

Questions to Ponder:

1) We live in a country of soaring rates of depression in all ages ranges, why do you think that is?

2) What's the difference between self-esteem and arrogance? Is humility a positive virtue or sign of weakness?

3) You're in a job interview and they are asking you questions about your knowledge of the industry. Do you show off everything you know or hold back to avoid bragging?

(יח) לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֽה׃
(18) You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD.

רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא יט, יח): וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ, זֶה כְּלַל גָּדוֹל בַּתּוֹרָה

Rabbi Akiva said: This is a great principle of the Torah: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18).

(יד) הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי. וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו, אֵימָתָי:

(14) He [Rabbi Hillel] used to say: If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, then when?

ולהגיד גדולתו של הקב"ה שאדם טובע כמה מטבעות בחותם אחד כולן דומין זה לזה ומלך מלכי המלכים הקב"ה טבע כל אדם בחותמו של אדם הראשון ואין אחד מהן דומה לחבירו לפיכך כל אחד ואחד חייב לומר בשבילי נברא העולם

Therefore, since all humanity descends from one person, each and every person is obligated to say: The world was created for me, as one person can be the source of all humanity, and recognize the significance of his actions.

(לג) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר שָׁא֜וּל אֶל־דָּוִ֗ד לֹ֤א תוּכַל֙ לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ אֶל־הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֣י הַזֶּ֔ה לְהִלָּחֵ֖ם עִמּ֑וֹ כִּֽי־נַ֣עַר אַ֔תָּה וְה֛וּא אִ֥ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֖ה מִנְּעֻרָֽיו׃ (ס) (לד) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר דָּוִד֙ אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל רֹעֶ֨ה הָיָ֧ה עַבְדְּךָ֛ לְאָבִ֖יו בַּצֹּ֑אן וּבָ֤א הָֽאֲרִי֙ וְאֶת־הַדּ֔וֹב וְנָשָׂ֥א שֶׂ֖ה מֵהָעֵֽדֶר׃ (לה) וְיָצָ֧אתִי אַחֲרָ֛יו וְהִכִּתִ֖יו וְהִצַּ֣לְתִּי מִפִּ֑יו וַיָּ֣קָם עָלַ֔י וְהֶחֱזַ֙קְתִּי֙ בִּזְקָנ֔וֹ וְהִכִּתִ֖יו וַהֲמִיתִּֽיו׃

(33) But Saul said to David, “You cannot go to that Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth!” (34) David replied to Saul, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep, and if a lion or a bear came and carried off an animal from the flock, (35) I would go after it and fight it and rescue it from its mouth. And if it attacked me, I would seize it by the beard and strike it down and kill it. ... “Then go,” Saul said to David, “and may the LORD be with you!”

אמר לו רבי יהודה לא כך היה מעשה אלא זה אומר אין אני יורד תחילה לים וזה אומר אין אני יורד תחילה לים קפץ נחשון בן עמינדב וירד לים תחילה

...This tribe said: I am not going into the sea first, and that tribe said: I am not going into the sea first. Then, in jumped the prince of Judah, Nahshon ben Amminadab, and descended into the sea first, accompanied by his entire tribe,

(ג) וְיֵשׁ דֵּעוֹת שֶׁאָסוּר לוֹ לָאָדָם לִנְהֹג בָּהֶן בְּבֵינוֹנִית אֶלָּא יִתְרַחֵק מִן הַקָּצֶה הָאֶחָד עַד הַקָּצֶה הָאַחֵר. וְהוּא גֹּבַהּ לֵב. שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הַטּוֹבָה שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אָדָם עָנָו בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שְׁפַל רוּחַ וְתִהְיֶה רוּחוֹ נְמוּכָה לִמְאֹד. וּלְפִיכָךְ נֶאֱמַר בְּמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ (במדבר יב ג) "עָנָו מְאֹד" וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר עָנָו בִּלְבַד. וּלְפִיכָךְ צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים מְאֹד מְאֹד הֱוֵי שְׁפַל רוּחַ.

(3) And, yet, there are certain tendencies which man is forbidden to follow in the middle-way, but must distance himself from extreme to extreme. The good way is not merely that man be meek, but that he should be humble-spirited, then his spirit will be extremely lowly. This is the reason why it is said of Moses that he was very meek (Num. 12.3) and not merely meek. This is also the reason why the sages commanded saying: "Be exceedingly humble of spirit"