Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 22 (Part 8)

And finally, we’d need to learn how to show respect for others if we’re to be truly humble. After all, it’s said that “no one, not even a non-Jewish stranger in the marketplace, ever had a chance to say hello to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai”, who was so keenly aware of this principle, “before he himself said it first” (Berachot 17a). And we’re to follow his lead.

As such, we’d need to learn not to stand on ceremony when someone else has a need, and to acquiesce to their needs instead; to assume that everyone has his or her unique insights and wisdom, and to purposefully listen to them; to own up to our own faults and limitations, and to accept others’ input; and more.

(What's interesting to recall here is that Ramchal is addressing what pious individuals, rather than the rest of us, are expected to achieve in degrees of humility. The point is that even though we, too, are capable of it, it's also far more difficult than we might imagine at first blush.)

Summing up this chapter, Ramchal says, “We’ve thus explicated all the main principles of modesty, but their details are so numerous that you’d need to use your own judgment about them” to determine them, and to always consider the circumstances at hand.

“One thing is sure”, he then concludes, and it’s that “modesty removes many stumbling-blocks along the way and brings you closer to the great good”. That’s because “a modest person is very little concerned for matters of this world, and he’s not envious of its vanities”.

So if we’re ever to achieve spiritual excellence, we too would need to strive for modesty, and to use it as a stepping-stone toward humility which is essential for that lofty goal.


 

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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Three Philosophies at Bavel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Noah's Spiritual Leadership
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

ArtScroll

How To Need Nothing And Have Everything
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

If it Hurts, Scream!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

What Goes Around Comes Around
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Unity and Conformity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

People In Stone Houses Should Not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Worlds Apart
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Best Policy
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Back To The Daily Grind
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Hide the Shame
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

> Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Join the Voices in the Ark
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

To Share in the Pain of Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 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