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203. Man's Pride Shall Bring Him Low

I heard on Sukkot Inter 2, October 12, 1938

“Man’s pride shall bring him low.” It is known that a man is born in utter lowness. However, if the low one knows one’s place, one does not suffer for being low, as this is one’s place. The legs, for example, are not at all degraded because they are always walking in the litter, and must carry the full weight of the body, whereas the head is always above. This is so because they know their place; hence, the legs are not at all degraded, and do not suffer for being in a low degree.

Yet, if they had wanted to be above, but were forced to be below, they would feel the suffering. And this is the meaning of “Man’s pride shall bring him low.” If one had wanted to remain in one’s lowliness, no lowliness would have been felt, no suffering for being “a wild ass’s colt is born a man.” But when they want to be proud they feel the lowliness, and then they suffer.

Suffering and lowliness go hand in hand. If one feels no suffering, it is considered that one has no lowliness. It is precisely according to the measure of one’s pride, or that he wants to have but doesn’t. Thus, he feels lowliness. And this lowliness later becomes a vessel for pride, as it is written, “The Lord reigneth; He is clothed in pride.” If you cleave to the Creator, you have a clothing of pride, as it is written, “Pride and glory are to the Creator.” Those who cleave to the Creator have great pride. And to the extent that he feels the lowliness, and according to the measure of one’s suffering, so one is rewarded with the clothing of the Creator.

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