Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 22 (Part 2)

In order to be humble within, which you would need to be so as to be humble in your deeds, you would need to realize a number of important things. First and foremost, the fact that no one truly deserves to “be praised by others, honored by them, and all the more so, to be held above others by them” (in Ramchal's words) as we’d often like to think of ourselves.

And that is true for a couple of reasons: first, because no one is without his or her faults, no one. If Moses, our master, was faulted by G-d Himself for his anger and impatience, then who among us could claim to be above him and faultless? And second, because each one of us has sinned or lapsed into one ethical or ritual trough or another, and thus no one can claim to be above others in any of that.

For irrespective of one’s good points, his lofty perch on one level or another, his achievements, his earned praise for one thing or another, each one of us has our defects and blemishes despite it all.

And while a person's faults may be “a result of his nature, of family influence, or of circumstances” which are all beyond our control and which we tend to accept more readily in ourselves; or "they may be a result of certain of one's own actions” which we’re all forced to acknowledge, it hardly matters. For the truth of the matter is that “No man is so righteous that he would (only) do good and never sin" (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

“All of these are … personal blemishes that could never allow for self-aggrandizement,” Ramchal surmises. In truth, he concludes, “even if you were an otherwise extraordinary person, your imperfections would be enough to overshadow your other traits” and you dare not consider yourself praiseworthy.

At bottom it comes to this, apparently: while we’re each to be acknowledged for having grown in one sphere or another; for having rounded-off one or two edges by dint of hard work and good intentions; and for taming the little boy and girl in our selfish, selfish hearts to a degree, the lot of us are imperfect. And none of us can afford to be so nervy as to place him- or herself above anyone else overall.


 

Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org

Rabbi Feldman's new book, Bachya Ibn Pakuda's The Duties of the Heart, is now available! Order Now


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Yehuda, Yosef and Chanukah
Shlomo Katz - 5763

The Merit of 20 Years of Honest Work Surpassed the Merit of the Forefathers
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Growing Forever
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

> The Hasmoneans Take a Stand: A History of Chanukah, Part II
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5774

Spreading the Word
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Days of Eight
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Body and Soul
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

A Double Loss!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Shadowy Existence
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

ArtScroll

Understanding True Value in This World
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

A Lesson In Exile & Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

True Riches
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Legacy of Deceit
Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein - 5762

What Miracle?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Lighting Up the Streets
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

A Torah Perspective
Shlomo Katz - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information