Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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A certain chossid was ‘notorious’ for his extreme humility and self-effacement.  Once he was asked “Does not the Gemora (in Sukkah 5a) say that a Torah scholar must not belittle himself too much? That although he must be humble, he is to retain ‘one eighth of one eighth of pride?”

The chossid replied, “Let us assume that you are right and that when I come to stand before the heavenly court after 120 years it will indeed be found that I am Torah scholar.  ‘Hmm’ the supernal judge will sternly demand, ‘What have we here? I see a Torah scholar. Where is your eighth of an eighth??’  Let us further assume, my friend, that as you claim I was somewhat deficient in this area.  I guess that would put me in somewhat of a bind.  Nevertheless I am fairly confident I will somehow manage to scrape together enough evidence of ego and pride in my life to satisfy the talmudic requirement.

But what of the following possibility: I come before the heavenly court to account for my life and am told, ‘Eighth of eighth’s we see aplenty, but where is the Torah scholar?’  You see, I’d rather take my chances with the first scenario…”

Excerpted from Chayenu’s Living with the Times, which excerpted it from Once Upon a Chossid by Yanki Tauber.

1 comment:

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