Rosh Chodesh Av, 5776
Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritch, sat with his young pupil.
"Mendel, how many pages of Talmud did you learn today?"
The boy couldn't suppress the smile which played across his features as he replied, "Three pages, Rebbe."
But, contrary to what one would have thought, the Maggid was far from pleased. The boy was an excellent student and showed great potential, but he was too arrogant about his abilities.
"Hmm," he said, "If your hat slants at such a cocky angle from only three pages of Talmud, I wonder how many it would take for your hat to fall off completely!"
The Rebbe's sharp words brought the boy down from his high spirits and he began to look into himself. He realized that he had better change his outlook. He went to his Rebbe and asked,
"Rebbe, please, give me your advice; I know my pride is wrong, but I don't know how I should feel."
The Maggid was pleased to see the sensitivity of his pupil.
"I will go with you to the Baal Shem Tov, and he will explain the proper path."