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Is Torah Knowledge Everything?

Dear Rav Ehrman

I have always dreamed of marrying a Talmid Chacham. I am presently going out with a wonderful boy who is a brilliant Talmid Chacham. We get along really well, he has a lot of personality and he seems like he will make a great husband.

There is one problem. He seems to have a VERY large ego. Maybe his razor sharp mind and all the kavod he receives in Yeshiva from his Rabbeim and fellow students have inflated his ego.

I would like to hear your perspective on this issue.

Thank you!!


Dear Miriam,

I can't talk about your particular situation because I don't know which boy you are talking about. But I will relate to your situation in general terms.

A prerequisite to learning Torah is humility. It is one of the 48 kinyaneh Torah. Every time we daven we say in Elokai Netzor "My soul should be like dust - open up my heart to Your Torah" implying that humility and the acquisition of Torah are interconnected. In fact as my Rebbe Shlita likes to point out the repository of Torah is not the mind as one would intuitively think, but the heart. A pure and holy heart. Moshe Rabbeinus primary character trait was none other than humility. That is the reason that he is the Rebbe of all Klal Yisrael. Not his intellectual acuity.

Not only must humility precede the study of Torah but the more one learns the more humble one must become.

So what I am saying Holy Miriam, is that all of his Torah is not worth very much if he has an inflated ego!! So it would be worthwhile speaking to people who know him in order to find out if they have the same impression that you do. And if so - maybe he is aware of the problem and is working on it!! Or maybe if he is made aware of the problem [GENTLY!!] he would be open to changing.

With blessings that you should find the perfect person for yourself!!

Your faithful servant

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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