And as stated on this blog before, the Orthodox Jewish community is the most self-critical, self-condemning community you'll ever see.
Sure, there are those who act like their group is perfect. But if you open any frum newspaper or magazine (or blog!), you'll see what I mean.
We hold ourselves up to very high standards & we don't give ourselves a break.
Yet humility & honesty aren't synonymous with self-denigration & self-hatred.
Humility & honesty mean that you know that you could be so much more.
Yes, humility & honesty also means knowing that there's mud caked onto the neshamah, and actually seeing that mud too. (After all, you can't fix a problem if you can't even see it.)
But it's also knowing that the mud isn't part of the actual neshamah & that there is beautiful light & sparkling gems underneath all the mud, waiting for us to access it all.
And it's a matter of scraping through the muck to get in touch with our soul in order to access all that lies within it.
May we all succeed in enabling our inner light & gems to shine through.