reinverting nothing

Ego, Our Rabbis throughout the ages teach us, is something that you can never have too little of. It is the major stumbling block in our service of God, it is the major curtain that divides between us and God.

The Notzer Hesed (4:4) even points out that the Evil Urge is an angel with an ego and that is its flaw.

How can we do something to avoid ego, or to correct our reaction to it? The Noam Elimelech (פרשת שמות) brings down that there are three stages:
  1. When you have a holy experience, rather then let your ego take flight, question and doubt the veracity of the experience.. perhaps it was a false experience meant to trip you up?
  2. When you experience holiness continuously, assume that it is not because of your own piety but because of the holiness of the place in which you are currently situated.
  3. When you recognize that it is in fact holiness and it is for you and not simply because of the place, then recognize that it is a gift from HaShem, and pray that you not stumble in the challenge of ego, that nothing separate you from HaShem and your service of Him.
The Notzer Hesed brings down only the third rule. As an example he states that the Baal Shem Tov gave his followers advice on finding a new Rebbe as he was dying. He said,
"Whomever you seek out, ask them how to overcome the test of Hubris, and if they tell you any advice, you know they have nothing to offer you, only if they pray 'HaShem should help you,' then you can know that they are a true Rebbe."
Nothing, the Notzer Hesed says, can save us from the guaranteed collapse that ego will bring, other than praying to HaShem for help.

It seems that ego by its definition can't be beaten from the inside, (which makes logical sense) only through external aid from HaShem Himself.


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