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כל גיא שוטה is quoted as a teaching by the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe. I understand it as all people with gaava (hautiness) are legally mentally handicapped (shoito)

What is the original source of this?

  • The closest thing I found was וְהַגַּס לִבּוֹ בַהוֹרָאָה, שׁוֹטֶה רָשָׁע וְגַס רוּחַ: (avot 4.7) – hazoriz Feb 21 '17 at 18:21
  • Are you only looking for a source for this exact quote, or for a source for the idea. Consider clarifying. – mevaqesh Feb 21 '17 at 19:13
  • @mevaqesh the exact quote it is exists, but it might not exist so then for the idea will be perfect – hazoriz Feb 21 '17 at 19:39
  • Which Chabad books? – Shmuel Brin Feb 21 '17 at 19:59
  • @ShmuelBrin chabadlibrary.org/books/… – hazoriz Feb 21 '17 at 20:30
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This exact quote is present in the early Hassidic work Tsaf'nat Paneah (Parshat Yitro) R. Ya'akov Yosef haCohen (Katz) of Polonne (18th cent.):

כל גיא שוטה, צריך להערים לעשות ההיפך, לאחוז במדת השפלות

It is also stated by the author of the P'ri M'gaddim (18th cent.) here.


The idea that every haughty person is a fool can be explained based on the fact that haughtiness is deeply discourages by Judaism. A haughty person, is therefore by definition substandard, and has nothing to be haughty about. Therefore, his very haughtiness is foolish. In this regard, Rabbenu Avraham ben HaRambam writes:

How can you marvel at your observance, when your thoughts and conceit reduce your religiosity, and your admiration ruins its very object? I shall quote a wise statement of my father of blessed memory, on this matter: He heard that on the night of Yom Kipput, an observant man declared, "I don't know for what sin I should repent." My father remarked, "What an unfortunate man! if he would only know what he should, he would repent even for thinking he has no sin for which to repent!" (Hamaspik L'ovdey Hashem ed. Wincelberg p. 169).

This foolishness would apply particularly to one who is haughty about his observance, but even one who is haughty for other reasons is nevertheless somewhat foolish inasmuch as he fails to appreciate that by objective standards, i.e. God's, he is deeply lacking.

  • But I guess it is not hazal – hazoriz Feb 21 '17 at 19:42
  • @hazoriz Not that I can find. I will look around a little more... – mevaqesh Feb 21 '17 at 19:44
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a collection of oldest sources maybe "וְהַגַּס לִבּוֹ בַהוֹרָאָה, שׁוֹטֶה..." משנה אבות ד׳ - ז' http://www.sefaria.org/Pirkei_Avot.4.7

יצחק הלוי סָטָנוֹב (5 בספטמבר 1732 - 25 בדצמבר 1804) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=34057&st=&pgnum=12

סיפר שפ״א שאל אביה מרן אדמו״ר מרוזין זי״ע להרנ טפאטא ..."מאמר ההכם" כל גיא שוטה... http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=3633&st=&pgnum=121

רבי יוסף בר מאיר תאומים-הפרי מגדים (1727-1792) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21998&st=&pgnum=89 (1288-אולי רלב"ג – 1344)) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21914&st=&pgnum=313

(1782) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=19657&st=&pgnum=96

(1798) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=38463&st=&pgnum=24

(1809) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=6081&st=&pgnum=47

(1885) "מאמרם הקדושים" כל גיא שוטה http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20554&st=&pgnum=239

(1926) בפי החכמים כל גיא שוטה וכל עניו חכם וחז״ל ציינו סימני השוטה שהוא מאבד מה שטתנים לו, ש״ס חגיגה ג', והכוונה שמאבד את החכמה שהיא מתנת ה׳ ית״ש, http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?&req=2121&st=&pgnum=123

"מחז"ל" http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=39606&st=&pgnum=389 http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49044&st=&pgnum=29 (1749-1826) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=32473&st=&pgnum=43 (1838) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=19180&st=&pgnum=70

PS in lubavich it is only written כמאמר and not "חז״ל"

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