You have a job interview coming. Where do you draw the line between being legitimately “for yourself”, on one hand, and, on the other, puffing yourself up in a way that risks your reputation?
Hillel endorses being “for yourself,” but sees self-promotion as self-destructive, as leading to loss of good reputation—the respect and admiration of others, one of your most precious assets.
- One guideline is: how would others who know you well admire how you are handling competitive pressures?
- Another guideline is to push your accomplishments, the services or goods you have produced, but do not put others down.
How have you promoted yourself? Where did you draw the line on what is illegitimate? What has worked for you? What has backfired?
A name made great is a name destroyed.
This teaches that one’s name should not come to the attention of the Ruling Power. For once a man’s name comes to the attention of the Ruling Power, the end is that it casts its eye upon him, slays him, and confiscates all his wealth (ARN).
If somebody’s name becomes well known in the city— “So-and-so is handsome, So-and-so is strong”—you will go looking for him on the morrow and not find out even when he departed from the world (ARNB).
He who appropriates for himself the fame of the Torah, that is, he who studies Torah in order to be able to boast of it, not for the sake of the study, will not acquire a name for himself (Vitry).
If one does whatever he does not for the sake of Heaven, but only to get a reputation, his name will be cut off in the end (Aknin).