Many people are conscious of how others perceive them and often allow a perception to persist because of the fear that they will not be valued or of being given proper respect for who they are. People often go by perceptions rather than seeing who a person really is and what their level of expertise or esteem is in fact.

Nevertheless, the Sages of the Land of Israel teach us that one must give up any personal gratification even if fundamental for the sake of truth.

“A scholar of Torah must announce himself: a person who knows just one tractate and goes to a place where they honor him as if he knows two tractates must tell them: I only know one tractate” (Makkoth 8a)

The lesson that the Sages of the Land of Israel teach us is that one must never allow people around them to think they are greater than they really are. Receiving undue honor is a form of deceit. The true trademark of a great Sage is not one who portrays himself or thinks himself as knowing everything but on the contrary one who freely and openly volunteers that he lacks expertise in a subject.

May God give us strength to always represent ourselves transparently.