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The correct reaction when others praise you.


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Sivan 9, 5779
what to say when people praise you? The question is what words of Torah or Tehillim to reply so my ego and pride never goes up, is there any Jewish tradition what words to say or just keep silence? or say thank you? how to react?
ב"ה Shalom Your question can be viewed from a few points of view. From the simplest social point of view, you may tell the people who are praising you thank you which a simple courteous thing to do. You may also want to find the right words to convey to them that they should not overdo their praise, or that you don't feel worthy of what they are saying, whatever truly expresses your feelings without insulting those who praise you. On another level, there actually is a "segula" a Jewish charm so that one's ego does not go up. Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zt"l, the former Rosh Yeshiva of Mercaz Harav", and the son of the saintly Rav A.I. Kook zt"l, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel , would say in the following in the name of Rav Chaim Volozhin zt"l : He who says the verse in Tehillim (36:12) אַל-תְּבוֹאֵנִי רֶגֶל גַּאֲוָה .."., which means "Let not the foot of pride overtake me…", it is a confirmed segula , to subdue pride. (גדול שימושה , תשד"מ, אות לד) Of course, for the long term there are many books of ethics which deal with the trait of pride and how to overcome it. All the best
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