Ego Tsunami

Stuart Fickler, Ph.D.

If a single ego can be destructive, consider the situation when a multitude of egos forms a society. This is the story of Noah.

In Noah's time, the majority sought only to serve their egos. Humankind became corrupt, violating the rights and property of others 1 . This led to the great flood.

We must recognize that, in a community, responsibility requires reciprocity. Each person in the community must take responsibility for their own choices and actions. Furthermore, they must consider the consequences on the entire community. If a person rejects their communal responsibility, then they exclude themselves from the community and its benefits.

This is an imperative of Torah law. An example of this is the Talmudic requirement that "even a poor man who himself subsists on charity should give charity." 2 . In this way, every member of the community has a vested interest in it, and adds to its well-being.

A community that does not demand mutual responsibility from its members is condemning itself to chaos and self-destruction. In contemporary life, we see this every day. Most of the hostility and violence around us is the consequence of people rejecting their communal responsibility.


1. 1. Gen. 6:5,11,12

2. 2. Talmud - Mas. Gittin 7b