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Why is Pride Dangereous?

בָּֽא־זָ֭דוֹן וַיָּבֹ֣א קָל֑וֹן וְֽאֶת־צְנוּעִ֥ים חׇכְמָֽה׃

When pride comes, then comes shame, but with the modest is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

Translations render the Hebrew word "zadon" as pride or arrogance or hubris.

The commentaries on this verse, however, give the word a stronger meaning namely wickedness and malice.

When you can do something well, when you experience success in what you do it is natural that it feels good and your ego grows from that. Our self-esteem and self-confidence grow by experiencing success. It makes us develop courage, boldness to take the next steps in our development and develop leadership.

But every coin has two sides. These positive forces can also become negative forces if it makes us feel that we are better or more than others. It makes us stop listening to others and stop learning from others. Sometimes it can lead to ignoring others or verbally (or physically) attacking others we perceive as a threat.

It makes a person believe in their own truth and stop listening to the words of wise people and those who have more knowledge and experience.

Where there is only room for ego, there is no more room for others, there is also no more room for G-d. There is a great danger of going against G-d's commandments and against His Torah.

Therefore, it is important to take the following words to heart.

With the ability to take lessons from the world around us, there is no room for the concept of pride! If I do something good, I can fall prey to taking pride in it. But if I take it as a lesson about how to do something positive - I didn't do anything that warrants pride, for I am only taking lessons! And when I am operating from a position of taking lessons, I am always inclined to see how the action could have been improved.

Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe

See each success moment as a learning moment received from G-d to become even better and greater

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



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