Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 23 (Part 4)

The second thing we’d need to reflect on if we’re to become truly humble is the volatility that is human life: how one’s life can spin about in a moment. After all, everything changes in this world, and while some of those are happy changes, many simply are not and one never knows.

Consider the undeniable fact that “a rich person can easily become poor, a ruler can quickly become a lay-person, and an honored person can suddenly become despised”, Ramchal points out, and the like. Given, then, that “it’s so easy (for one’s situation) to quickly turn into something that’s so abhorrent to him at this point, how can one possibly be proud of his current, so very tenuous situation?” Ramchal offers; how can one ever be proudly sure of his or her standing?

Other things can go wrong, too, G-d forbid, he goes on to point out: “an illness can suddenly strike that would force you to ask for other people’s help” or to accept charity, which might have always gone against your grain. All sorts of pains and sorrows could come your way “that would force you to seek out help from certain people whom you’d be reticent to even offer a hello to in the street” at this point, whom you’d nevertheless need to humble yourself to. The point of the matter is that we’re never ever on sure ground; each moment is a thin veneer of shifting plates beneath our feet. So it would do us well to be humbly aware of that all the time.

We’d also need to consider our ongoing relationship with G-d and our service to Him, and our current standing where that’s concerned. Why, just consider “how often you disregard (His mitzvahs) or are lax in them”. Keep that alone in mind “and you simply cannot grow haughty”.

And we’d all need to “recognize the fallibility of human knowledge, how liable it is for error and untruth, and how it’s more often wrong than right” despite the intellectual vistas any one of us might have crossed. That being so, “you should constantly … try to learn from all people and take advice” in true humility, rather than assume you’re right simply because it occurs to you that you are.


 

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 EMOR AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Not Free Yet
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

In a Moment of Truth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Focus on the Counting
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

ArtScroll

Divine Distribution
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Understanding Relationships With G-d
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Loving Your Fellow Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

> Holy Priests
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

The Rest of the Story!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Extremism - Taking Things Too Far
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Customs Going Back To The Days of Pharisees and the Sadducees
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

The Exclusion of Exclusive
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Teaching Fear of Heaven by Example
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Blasphemy Happens
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

A Count of Anticipation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Paying the Rent
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

One Who Curses The Name of G-d is Not An Atheist
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773



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