Let My People Know

"An excess of humility"


Even a talmid chacham ('scholar of the Torah') needs a certain increment of pride, no matter how small, in order to be creative. 

In the same way, a person who, out of an excess of humility, has crushed the power to create, cannot really achieve the level of a talmid chacham. 

This problem is indeed a very real one because there are many people who, upon reaching a certain level of self-renunciation and egolessness, could be creative in a significant manner but fail to be so because they feel they are too small. 

Some people need more self-confidence or pride, others require less, but a minimum is essential. 

What we are pointing to is the aspect of good within what is considered evil, and the evil that can issue from the most refined goodness.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "The Many Sides of Chesed" in In the Beginning by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz