I understand that it is good for Jews to be humble and not boastful

But are there times that it is not good?
Specifically is it good to be humble (avoid boasting) before your woman (wife/date)? would it be good to boast?

Why you should boast since my being humble you are making it harder for her to respect you
source that this is not good to do boast to woman of others (it seems that to your woman it is good, since it will make her desire you)
שבט מוסר/טז Shevet Musar chapter 16

ואל תשבח עצמך בפני אשתו במדות טובות שיש בך, שמא תבא למאוס בבעלה ולחשוק בך. ‏ do not praise yourself before his (someone else's) wife with you good traits that you have, since it might cause her to be disgusted with her husband and desire you.

Why you should be humble.
I heard that it can bring to an ayen horah, by getting people to sin by being jealous.

Some might say that the posuk below is also regarding boasting (that it is not good to boast regarding worldly things (which in my poor understanding are the things women are usually interested in)) Yirmiyahu 9.22,3

כֹּה | אָמַר ה` אַל יִתְהַלֵּל חָכָם בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וְאַל יִתְהַלֵּל הַגִּבּוֹר בִּגְבוּרָתוֹ אַל יִתְהַלֵּל עָשִׁיר בְּעָשְׁרוֹ
22 Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man exult in his wisdom, nor the strong man exult in his strength, nor the rich man exult in his riches.
כִּי אִם בְּזֹאת יִתְהַלֵּל הַמִּתְהַלֵּל הַשְׂכֵּל וְיָדֹעַ אוֹתִי כִּי אֲנִי ה' עֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ כִּי בְאֵלֶּה חָפַצְתִּי נְאֻם ה'. ‏ 23. But let him that is exulted exult in this, that he understands and knows me, for I am the Lord Who practices kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord:.

(See this midrash where it seems to understand the posuk that a person should not exult himself by using his mouth as Shlomo hamelech, Dovid hamelech and Korach did)

similar (How) can a man seek favor from (or woo) a potential bride and/or her family?

Edit Is it not that my boasting you are humbling yourself?
if you were so big you would not need to boast, and by boasting you are humbling yourself, putting yourself so low that you need to praise yourself

  • 2
    Probably better to be honest and open with your wife (or anyone you have a deep relationship with), instead of trying to manipulate her into liking you.
    – Double AA
    Jan 9, 2017 at 19:10
  • 1
    @DoubleAA It seems I am having trouble with doing that (I do not understand what that means practically speaking), can you give me some advice, please? (what does "open" mean? To not humble yourself, but to be natural?)
    – hazoriz
    Jan 9, 2017 at 19:14
  • 1
    Vanity vanity all is vanity..
    – Gary
    Jan 10, 2017 at 22:08
  • 1
    @DoubleAA sometimes the author himself is almost a proof that it is false
    – kouty
    Jan 11, 2017 at 18:00
  • 1
    @kouty Very, very rarely do you find rabbis or professors lying to trick people.
    – Double AA
    Jan 11, 2017 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Regarding the verse in Yrmiah, may be that the יתהלל is a question of self estime, not of boast.

Regarding the Shevet Musar, there is not necessary correlation between the fact that a woman can desire a stranger who praises himself and the fact that she would desire the husband if he praises himself. Because if the husband praise himself she is able to discover that he is a gaavtan and perhaps praises himself erroneously and her sentiments toward him can become negative. A stranger can easily make a strong effect but this kind of effect is ephemeral.

The Shevet Musar seems to show that here we can lie to "לחבב אשה על בעלה" Shalom Bait justifies lying as Hashem lied to Avraham regarding the sentence of Sarah.

The Orchot Tsadikim in Shaar Hgaava(1) explains that a man needs to behave in the same way with witnesses as without witnesses e. g. at time of prayer his prayer if people watch him, not praying shorter than his habit and not longer. The Gemara explains in Elu Metsiot that a Talmid Chacham can lie saying that he knows less than what he really knoks.

There is no indication that you don't be humble, so: You should be only humble.

(1)אך הישר הוא: להתפלל בכוונה באריכות, ויצווה על הטוב ויזהיר מהרע, ויעשה כל הטובות בגלוי ובסתר. ואם יכבדוהו על זה וישבחוהו – אין מזיק לו בשבח, אחרי שלא כוון לזה בשעת המעשה. לכן בעת אשר תעשה מעשה הטוב, תבחין בעצמך ממי אתה מקווה הגמול: אשר מהאל – הוא שלם, אבל אם מאחרים – אינו שלם. וגם תבחין אם זה המעשה אשר תעשה לפני העולם, אם היית עושה בייחוד בחדרי חדרים בזה העניין אשר אתה עושה ברבים, ואם יתברר לך זה – אז מעשך שלם. ‏

  • +1 thank you, I feel that Hashem sent me this answer through you. I was resently on a date and it seems the girl was trying to find good things about me (I guess she was looking for a simple reason why I am good for her to marry and for what she can respect me), do you think I should be humble and try to hide (or explain that they are insignificant) the good things , or I should tell them to her?
    – hazoriz
    Jan 10, 2017 at 4:24
  • I feel you need to be yourself naturally. She would decide alone. You need to concentrate yourself in the person who is in front of you and not in yourself. You are not a seller. She is able to find alone good things in you if the ratson of HaShem is this. don't try to make impressive show
    – kouty
    Jan 10, 2017 at 4:48
  • Thank you, I myself naturally do not need the date (at all), it is all for her, you are saying that even in my case I should just spend time (naturally) with her as though she is a man (since that is how I am naturally since I am usually with men)? I think I need to act differently with a girl, probably in a similar way as with my wife, talk nicley to her...,
    – hazoriz
    Jan 10, 2017 at 11:29
  • @hazoriz you think right! I am sure that you have no problem to be yourself is largely sufficient.
    – kouty
    Jan 10, 2017 at 11:57
  • @hazoriz You should talk nicely to men too. בנחת עם הבריות. Onaat Devarim is forbidden to a man too, though for practical reasons also remember ולעולם יהא אדם זהיר באונאת אשתו, שמתוך שדמעתה מצויה, אונאתה קרובה
    – Double AA
    Jan 10, 2017 at 15:12

Please take a look at this question and answer. YDK's answer is lenient, msh in the comment brings a stricter view. Which is fine, we have machloket everywhere.

In the absence of a family minhag, would you rely on the lenient view without talking to YLOR first? Probably not. And if you did, the worst possible outcome (if the halacha is like msh) is you are not yotzei kiddush derabbanan.

Shalom bayit takes precedence over kiddush (Shabbos 23b, Rambam Megila Vechanuka 4:14). Furthermore, kiddush has detailed halachot that apply to everyone, while the practical aspects of shalom bayit are going to depend on the individual (except certain details like Shabbos candles or Sotah, but we're not discussing them here). If you make a mistake in these areas, you could have shalom bayit problems forever ח"ו.

And there's no such thing as "Ok I'll just be machmir to be safe." Aside from the fact that that's not necessarily a good idea in any area of halacha, for this particular topic there's no way to disentangle chumra and kula. Every action could be right or wrong, and there's no way for people who don't know you to know which is which.

For your sake, and the sake of your future wife and descendents לדורי דורות, please DON'T ask these questions online. Anything people say might be correct, but is not tailored to your specific situation and is not useful for you. Talk to someone who knows you.

  • +1 (for your time) my question might have been discussed by respected Rabbis you often see advice on modot, I do not see what is wrong in asking, if I decide to act as someone answers it is completely my responsibility. The shalom bait of candles and sotah are not different tipes of shalom bait? (Candles is for you not to stump your toe and (a wife has nothing to do with it) sotah is for the man to be calm that is wife was not with someone else. Try to imagine that the people that know me do not have patients for me especially when I start bringing sources, (are you interested in knowing me?)
    – hazoriz
    Jan 10, 2017 at 14:26
  • @hazoriz Even if I did know you I would be the wrong person to ask, since I'm not married. And yes probably respected Rabbis have talked about this topic and said all kinds of different things (like in the case of kiddush, but here there are more possible answers than yes and no), and which answer is most appropriate FOR YOU is something that can only be addressed by someone who knows the sources and knows you.
    – Heshy
    Jan 10, 2017 at 14:37
  • i guess if I do not have such a person I need to figure it out myself, כי קרוב אליך הדבר מאוד... ) it seems you are saying it is far and i need to get someone to get it
    – hazoriz
    Jan 10, 2017 at 14:46
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    @hazoriz can you talk to your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/older siblings/older cousins/rav/rebbeim/...............? There must be someone who knows you better than random people on the internet.
    – Heshy
    Jan 10, 2017 at 14:50
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    @hazoriz Please, as a favor to me if nothing else, ask this question to someone you know very well and trust, who is older than you and has been married for a significant amount of time. Ask them if it's worthwhile to get advice on this topic online? I predict that they will say no. In the worst case, it can't hurt to ask the question.
    – Heshy
    Jan 10, 2017 at 19:01

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