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 KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Mishloach Manos - The Gift of Unity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Esther's Lesson in Nature
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

A Month of Happiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

How Powerful “I” Can Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Living Up to the Highest Standards
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5756

Searching for Haman
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

What's Bad is Good
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Faith Based Initiative
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Allusions and Illusions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

ArtScroll

Divine Distinction
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Of Hands and Feet
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Preparation for Happiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5769

> Walking in the Garden
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

The Golden Thread of Our Existence
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Moshe's Finest Moment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

How Could They?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758



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