Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just: Chapter 23 (Part 5)

A number of factors hold us back from being truly humble. Foremost, Ramchal asserts, are rank “overabundance” and the sheer delight in things.

Truth be known, the sheer reverence for “overabundance” -- for wanting too much of quite enough -- defines modernity. Whereas stark and painful want and poverty gnawed at and injured so many people in the past, and the blessing of plenty has refreshed the human heart for many years now, things have gone too far and it’s now against our spiritual well-being.

These verses lay out the dilemma, as Ramchal understands it: "(Beware, lest) you eat and grow full (and forget G-d), and your heart becomes proud" (Deuteronomy 8:12–14). In other words, the terrible spiritual consequences of enjoying overabundance are our setting G-d out of sight and mind, and our placing ourselves at the center of the universe instead.

Wanting to avoid that at all costs, “the pious find it better to deprive themselves sometimes (of this and that), so that they might subdue the inclination towards arrogance which flourishes in a climate of plenty” Ramchal offers. The point is that we’d do well to deprive ourselves of things here and there to avoid that, too.

What also prevents us from being humble is a lack of Torah knowledge, Ramchal underscores. As he points out, our sages enunciated that thusly: "A sure sign that someone knows nothing is (his) bragging" (Zohar, Balak), which suggests that a person only thinks he needs to brag when he actually has nothing worthwhile to be proud of. And they said that, "A single coin in (an otherwise empty) bottle makes a loud clanging sound"(Baba Metziah 85b), which means that only a mind that’s full of thoughts of consequence and of spiritual content can drown out useless untruths.


 

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


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

The Fifth Son
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Why is this Night Different?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

“Letter to my Son Akiva” (born 10 years ago, on Erev LAG B’OMER)
Jon Erlbaum - 5771

> The Great Shabbos
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

A Holy Nation?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Pesach Questions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

ArtScroll

“Letter to my Son Akiva”
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

To Be Chosen Again
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Seven Perfect Weeks
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Searching for the Chametz Within
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Pesach Answers - Chad Gadya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

A Focus of Our Attention
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Pesach In Command
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Beginning with Matza
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Reliving the Exodus
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755



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