"Our sages thus teach
us, 'One who eats another's bread is ashamed to look in his face.' [Yerushalmi Orlah 1:3] …Our sages repeat this lesson
any number of times. They teach us that, 'When a person must depend on gifts, his face changes.' In another place, they say,
'When one depends on the gifts of others, the world appears dark to him.' Elsewhere they proclaim, 'One who eats at another's
table is never satisfied' (Brachos 6b, Beitza 32b; Avos d’Rabbi Nathan 31:1).
"God wanted the good
that He would give to be perfect good, not tinged by any shame. If it were given as a free gift, however, it would always
be accompanied by the shame that results from accepting a free gift. The only way to avoid this would be for the good to be
earned, so that it would no longer be a gift. It is for this reason that the good that God gives us is only bestowed as a
reward for our own actions.
"When the Zohar speaks
of the ultimate world of good, it says, 'Happy is he who comes here without shame.' This is actually echoing the words of
the prophet, who said, 'And you shall eat and be satisfied...and my people shall never be ashamed.' (Jeremiah 2:26)"
For a more detailed answer, see the last
chapter in Soul Searching: “A Philosophy Of Soul.”