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CHIZUK-----low self esteem

sarchie Posted - 03 April 2001 16:15

Hey moderator.

I wrote something before when you were out of town and I guess you didn’t get it so ill write it again...

Basically...I have a prob with my self esteem and I hate it. I honestly feel like I have no talents at all...I can’t do anything. I cant sing, draw, write, act etc. all my friends are so talented and creative and I can’t do anything.

Also, another prob is my sister is mamesh a genius. She is so smart (got perfect on SAT) and is in a top college. Thank G-d my parents love me for who I am, but I can’t help comparing myself to her. She is everything. She’s smart and beautiful.

Everyone tells me how pretty she is when they see pics and stuff.

I love saying that I’m her sister, but deep down inside, it upsets me a lot.

There is nothing that I’m great for.

It's so hard to talk to anyone about this bc everyone says 'I don’t know what you’re talking’re such a special person etc' but yet they cant come up with any example of any talents that I have.

I think I am a caring person, but there are so many ppl like that. I go and visit a person in the old age home very often and she always tells me how special I am and how I’m helping her and stuff, but I can’t help thinking to myself that anyone of my friends can do the same.

Everyone can be sweet when it comes to certain things. All my friends are so nice and caring...nothing makes me any more special than them.

I don’t know what to do about it. I hate feeling so depressed all the time about these things but I cant even talk to anyone about it...even my parents bc as much as they want to tell me, I wont believe it...b/c any parents would say that to their children. And every parents love their child.

- 03 April 2001 17:36


Is singing or drawing or acting the yardstick of what makes you special in this world? Was the Chofetz Chaim so talented? What makes you special in this world, Sarchie, are you choices, not if you can play Machaniam the best.

The Baal Shem Tov explained what humility is. Doesn't the humble person know of his great talents?

The answer, he said, is, it's like the guy whose friend grew up to be a king in a far away but magnificent land.

One day the guy finds himself in his friend's kingdom, and decides to visit his old friend, currently the king.

He arrives at the king's palace, a pauper requesting to see the king. Of course, they told him to get lost. But he was persistent, claiming that he was an old friend of the king's. Finally, they brought his request to the king.

When the king heard the name of his old friend, he invited him in, and put him up in the Royal Palace itself. The king wanted to show his friend his entire kingdom, so he gave him royal clothes to wear, and took him in the royal chariot, all over the kingdom. Just him and the king, alone on the royal chariot, with the typical royal entourage preceding them.

The king's friend, the peasant, when dressed in royal clothes looked like a different person. So regal, so kingly. So much so, that onlookers actually mistook him for the king!

"Long live the King" they shouted, as the chariot passed by, pointing at the peasant, ignoring his royal highness himself!

The peasant was totally embarrassed. Imagine: His friend, the king, gives him these royal clothes and rides him around in his royal chariot, and he ends up stealing all the king's attention and praise.

So, too, said the Baal Shem Tov, when a person is talented, or wealthy, or handsome, we tend to praise them and think of them as "special". But the reality is, the credit goes to Hashem.

Hashem is the One Who gave the person the talent, like the king giving the clothes. What did the artist do to deserve his talent? Nothing. It’s a gift form Hashem. All talent is - to borrow a phrase - on loan from Hashem. When a talented person is praised as "special" or "talented", if they are humble, they should be embarrassed, because they know Hashem, Who really is the talent behind them, is "standing" right next to them.

The special people, Sarchie, are not the artists or the writers or the singers or the actors. They are not those who live off the King's name. The special people ain this world are those who make themselves great, by using their choices, their Bechirah, which is not Hashem's, but yours.

The Chofetz Chaim was not talented. But he was the greatest of the great. It's only that kind of greatness, Sarchie, that counts in this world for anything. Everything else is just Hashem's specialness, not people's.

The Rambam writes that every Jew can be as great a Tzadik as Moshe Rabbeinu. You can, too. And I see form your posts on other forums that you're a loyal champion in Hashem's army, fighting for good in this world.

That makes you special, Sarch. Not the talents. Really.

Forget the talents. Focus on what's really special in this world, what really makes people special. Not the illusions. Not the pride that's stolen from hashem.

In the next world, all the "talented" people will be plain Janes. It's only the doers of Mitzvos and the learners of Torah that will be special. It is only they who are special in this world, really. And you, Sarchie, are among them. Never forget that.

sarchie Posted - 05 April 2001 17:13

Moderator...thank you so much for your kind words.

Although...I am still feeling very down. when I think about it, all parents say their children are special. but you know what? to my older sister, everyone says 'you’re so smart' to my younger sister, 'you’re so creative and talented' to my brother, 'you’re so good with this and that' and what do they say to me? 'you’re special'. it’s all fake. its an easy way out. its bc they cant think of anything else to say to me. 'you’re special' just does it. it means nothing.

Even if I am 'special' that wont get me anywhere through life. you know how many times I've been hurt and ppl have taken advantage of me and walked all over me? all bc I’m 'a special person' and 'a giving person' ...well, I’m not getting anywhere but HURT. my older sister...yes she’s brilliant and beautiful...and she too will get married G-d willing soon and live a perfectly happy life. The same as everyone else and the same as me. Being special doesn’t get you anywhere where being smart or talented won't.

I give nothing. I contribute my family, to my class, to the world! nothing!!! I cant do anything! I feel like there is no point in being here. there is nothing I do.

- 05 April 2001 17:16

Please remember. Specialness, DESPITE WHAT PEOPLE SAY, means who is greater in the eyes of Hashem. Being pretty is no that; being smart is not that. Al yishallel chacham b'chachmaso....

Shekeer Hachain V'hevel Hayofi....

Isha yiras hashem Hi tishallal.

Never forget that please. You have to bang that concept into your head, and not let the Yetzer Horah convince you to give value to vanity.

sarchie Posted - 12 April 2001 15:02

Rabbi, also, about the Chofetz Chaim--he was so great! Yes, he was a very very special man, but look at the wisdom he had!! that’s what I wish for! It's what I try to get!

Every time someone gives me a bracha (on their b-day or something) that’s what I ask be wise. to know what to say, what to answer ppl. I can try and try.

I try and read books and hear answers and they are all brilliant, but I cant tell them over to ppl.

the words just done come out. I cant express myself. for example...after reading your answers to many ppls questions, and someone asks me the same question that same day or something, I don’t know how to answer it! how long am I going to be like that???

Oh if only I could be like the Chofetz Chaim and all the other great Rabbanim. I could be proud of so much.

Now, there’s really nothing that I can give over to other ppl.

So, I may be special, but with no talents, it doesn’t help me in anyway
even if we have limits, we can inspire others as well to strive to reach their limits )

MODERATOR Posted - 13 April 2001 17:34


The Rebbe Reb Zushe ZT"L once said, "When I appear before Hashem, He won't ask me Why weren't you the Baal Shem Tov?. But He will ask me Why weren't you Zushe?".

Hashem will not ask you, Sarch, why you weren't the Chofetz Chaim. That's not your job. But Hashem will ask you why weren't you Sarchie. Hashem will say, "Sarchie, to Me, wisdom is nothing. Yes, I gave the Chofetz Chaim wisdom. Some. I gave Shlomo HaMelech more. And even what Shlomo had was just a bit, compared to what I could have given him. But I only gave them what they needed to best do their job. I gave them the right amount of money, wisdom, fame, fortune, everything - that they need to do their particular job."

Then Hashem will continue. "I also gave Sarchie what she needs to do her job. I gave her golden heart (Moderator's note to Sarchie: I received your post about the Tzadakah to the site. It will be put up as soon as I get to it.), her particular strengths, weaknesses, family situations, everything in her life are only tools for her to deal with the Nisyonos that those tools produce. If Sarchie did HER job with HER tools that I gave HER, then she is a 100% success, no less than the Chofetz Chaim was with his job. And maybe more...."

Hashem will ask, "Sarchie. I assigned you your job. I could have made you the Chofetz Chaim but I didn’t. I made you Sarchie. I did that on purpose because I wanted you to be Sarchie not the Chofetz Chaim. I have the Chofetz Chaim with me in Shomayim. Now I need a Sarchie. Sarchie, did you do the job I gave you? Were you a proper Sarchie?"

If you will be able to answer "yes", then believe me, Sarch, you will be happy that Hashem made you you and not the Chofetz Chaim.

The Rambam writes that everyone in the world can be as big a Tzadik as Moshe Rabbeinu. That means as big a Tzadik as the Chofetz Chaim as well.

Not necessarily as big a Talmid Chacham or wise man, but as big a Tzadik. And that’s what counts. Because our Bechirah makes us Tzadikim; everything else comes from Hashem.

Ki Hashem yitain chochma; mipiv daas usevuna.

You can be as big a Tzadik as the Chofetz Chaim. In Shomayim, that’s all that’s going to count. Not how many Gedolim cards your face was on or how pretty you were or talented or smart. but how well you made the choices that were given to you. On your level. And that, Sarchie, you can fulfill to the max.

One more thing. Much of the Chofetz Chaim's wisdom was G-d-given, but much was acquired through years of studying Hashem's Torah. Even the Chofetz Chaim wasn't the Chofetz Chaim when he was your age. Don’t' try to outdo him so fast. If you study and work hard for years and years, you will acquire more wisdom than you ever imagined possible.

And pray for it, too.

PinteleYid Posted - 02 May 2001 19:05

Hello -

I want to know, How can I come to the midway point between Daagah and Azus.

I ask this because I have two rebbeim who either sometimes scream or are a bit overwhelming. They are not intending, obviously, to discourage us, and when they oppose us, only try to fight with us to see if we will come back stronger.

I have a problem, because I am afraid, B'Shaas Maaseh, to admit that, to the rebi, that I don’t understand. Often time I do, in fact most, but because I think extremely slow, I am afraid it will take to much time from the class shiur to be worth it.

I am afraid it will take more than a couple of seconds to sink in, and, as when I learn, many things take minutes, if not ten or so. But, when I attempt to follow him, concentrating, analyzing, and responding, in less time than I think, sometimes it works, but sometimes I am just plain MaIz (chutzpadik), and NOT on purpose, it just comes out, and I don’t mean to offend the rebbi.

Also, I am a bit afraid of him, BiChlal, and when I try not to be, I go a little far.

For instance, I was walking up the stairs, and being the stairwell is very small, only for one person, and only in one direction, and me, with my head done, running up stairs to xerox a Gemora in the teachers room. I met my rebbi at the top when I lifted my head, almost stepping on him, with him tucking in his chest to let me through. I said, "I suppose I could have waited.!" and I think I heard him mutter ,"huh", as if to tell me that, indeed, I should have done so and it wasn’t kovod not to.

I just walked by, afraid of my failure at opening up and expressing my problem, and either being totally worried or totally not that nice.

I feel that all my learning is useless and all the mitzvos will get me nothing If I am concerned with my own Kovod, like in class, because of the time it will take to explain it to me. Probably, I know that it will take time, and rebbi wont mind, but it could be that I am not strong enough to talk back. How do I become strong like that?? I realize, "Ain HaBayshan Lomeid", so neither will I.

Also, there is a class in Shiur I like because he is so "In your face" about everyone and everything, which includes the things rebbeim say, and he therefore questions everything the torah and Gemora and EVERYTHING says, with a mind that is capable of thinking quickly and progressively with alternating and changing Seva'aros. HOW DO I DEVELOP SUCH A SHARP AND THINKING MIND???




MODERATOR Posted - 02 May 2001 20:56

First, you have to realize that Hashem wants you to be you and not somebody lese. And that He gave you the tools you need to succeed, that includes your personality not someone else's. Please see the following forums where this is discussed:

Second, you need to establish priorities for yourself. You have to remember that your job in this world is to become a Tzadik, and everything else is just distractions. The question you need to ask yourself regularly is: What do I need to change in order to become a bigger Tzadik? Or: About every part of you want to change, ask yourself: Will changing this make me a bigger Tzadik? If the answer is no, forget it.

The Gerrer Rebbe once asked, when the Torah tells us not to be jealous, it lists a whole list of things possible to be jealous of: Do not desire the wife of your friend, the house, the ox, the donkey, everything of your friend, the posuk says.

Why does the posuk make a whole list and then end with "everything"? Isn’t this redundant?

The Gerrer Rebbe answered: The Torah is giving us advice on how not to be jealous. It's telling us that whatever we have is a package deal. If you’re jealous of any individual thing your friend has, look at "everything" he has - maybe he has someone in his family who's sick; maybe he has a bad wife; everybody has their "baggage." Life is a package deal. You don’t want the other guy's package, and you cant pick and choose a little from every package.

You need to focus on YOUR job, YOUR capabilities and what hashem has in mind for you. Everything else is just distractions.

fiz Posted - 18 January 2002 16:49

Hi Moderator,

I have two questions.

1) If Hashem gives someone many qualities, does that mean that without them he will not able to do his task in this world?

2) Is it likely that one's brachot to other people will be answered on his birthday?

MODERATOR Posted - 20 January 2002 20:45

1) That is correct. But it is difficult, sometimes, to know how to use your talent for Hashem's purpose.

Sometimes, it may be a Nisayon that you need to stay away from. Like for instance, if someone has a talent for race car driving, it may be there as a Nisayon to distract him from learning. He would need to resist the temptation to race cars and learn.

So Hashem put this talent and desire in him for him to gain Olam Habbah by ignoring it.

2) Not that I know of. Birthdays are special in the Torah, but I do not know that it says such a thing about them.

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