Self-esteem is talked about a whole lot in the world today.
What does the Torah have to say about it? Is it addressed anywhere in the Torah?
What is self-esteem and what is the nature of people’s struggles with it, This issue seems to be getting more and more prevalent in the world today. Self-esteem as defined by Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski means to see the self accurately with one’s qualities and weaknesses. When one doesn’t see their flaws and shortcomings then they are arrogant, and when one doesn’t see and value their good attributes then they are experiencing low self-esteem and suffer the pain of not feeling good about themselves. So it would seem to be an issue that is not connected to Torah. What does how one judges oneself have to do with Torah?
That is why I like to view it as being a prerequisite to Torah, in the same vein that it says in Pirkei Avos that Derech Eretz Kadma Latorah.
When experiencing the suffering of low self esteem, one is less equipped to carry out the commandments and ideals of the Torah way of life. For example, one will struggle to serve God with joy when they are feeling down about themselves. One may also struggle with the mitzvah of Ahavas Hashem believing they are unworthy of God’s love. How can I or why would I love God if He doesn’t love me, if I don’t matter to Him. One may also view their observance of mitzvos as insignificant by comparing themselves to the tzadikim and falling short thereby belittling their own effort and devotion and feeling like it’s not enough.
So let’s build up ourselves to enjoy a healthy self-esteem thereby enabling us to go forward and serve our Creator with joy, love and appreciation!
Meir Weinberg, is The Self Esteem and God’s Love Coach, and guides his clients towards a more loving relationship with God and themselves. You can look him up on his website theselfesteemcoach.org and follow him on Instagram @the_selfesteem_coach.