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  • Writer's pictureReuven

It's a narrow bridge

What the Rav said:

Rav Natan says, a person needs to strengthen himself greatly, and to overcome, to believe in himself.

Not that you’re better than the next guy. Rather, every Jew has within him a good point where he is an aspect of the Tzadik.

A person needs to believe that the Tzadik is telling him to believe in himself.

He needs to believe that even the small service of Hashem that he manages, the small amount of learning Torah, is very precious to Hashem.

Everyone thinks that the other guy understands better, that the other guy is a Tzadik.

Sometimes, a person can fall into such despair that everyone for sure are Tzadikim, apart from me.

It just seems like I can’t do it, it’s not for me. I’m not able to learn, for me it’s too hard.

This person doesn’t believe in himself and slowly, slowly a person loses his emunah this way.

My thoughts:

There’s a fine line between believing in oneself and being arrogant.

But, Rabbenu told us ‘the whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to scare oneself’. (Note: this is the actual translation of what Rabbenu said, it got morphed into “…the main thing is not to be afraid” – but the difference is actually quite important! Rabbenu is telling us that we scare ourselves, not that things scare us! Anyway, back to this post…!)

So, the Rav is telling us we need to walk that narrow path. We need to find that place, precarious as it is, where we can believe in ourselves without being arrogant.

Not believing in yourself is not the same as ‘being humble’. A person who doesn’t believe in himself can’t serve G-d properly, and the Rav tells us, he’ll soon lose what emunah he has left.

I think this also connects to ‘being happy with my lot’. That means that it’s important to recognise the small amount of good (learning Torah, praying, doing good things) that Hashem gives me to do in this world, and recognising that it is good and being happy with it.

When I recognise the good, I’m really recognising Hashem (its Him that grants me the merit to do good things).

So, recognising the good that Hashem gives me the merit to do - is actually very humbling!

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