TODAY'S MESSAGE IS DEDICATED
FOR A REFUAH SHELEMAH FOR
EZRA BEN RENEE
MAY HASHEM RETURN HIM TO FULL HEALTH SOON
Sometimes people confuse the concepts of conceit (ga’avah) and self-worth.
The words of our teachers put things in perspective. Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian, zt”l, said, “The essence of the concept of humility is not that one should be unaware of one’s capacities. To the contrary; a person should recognize his strengths. However, he should know that his skills and talents are a gift from Hashem, and that they are not his doing. He should feel that had another person been equally endowed, he could have achieved more” (Lev Eliyahu, “Shevivay Lev,” volume 1, paragraph 160).
The Chazon Ish, zt”l, said, “A person should know his value, and if he is indeed learned in Torah, he must know this. However, one should not feel that this makes him superior to others” (Emunah u’Bitachon).
Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz, zt”l, said, “The person who does not recognize his strengths and talents is much worse off [than the one who does not recognize his defects], because he is totally unaware of the tools with which he can achieve spiritual goals” (Da’at Torah). The Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) will often make people believe that they are not so special. He likes to prevent people from doing “good” by
making them think that the “good” that is done in the world should be left to those more talented, more religious, or more dedicated than themselves. People who don’t recognize their talents can’t put them to good use. Self-esteem is necessary, not forbidden.
If you paint a picture of yourself that portrays you as small and weak, put down your brush and think about the task you were about to take on. If it was something that would really help others or something that would help you take another positive step in spiritual growth—attribute your “weakness” to the stratagems of the Evil Inclination. Take another look in the mirror and you will see that Hashem put this task before you as a test of your spiritual resolve, and that He gave you all the tools you might need to complete the project successfully. If you train yourself to think this way, you will start to have a success rate that even you yourself thought you could never achieve!
CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE
Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed because the people adhered strictly to the law and did not treat others favorably above and beyond what the law dictated. (Bava Metzia 30b)
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