Acquiring Humility | Path of the Just

Acquiring Humility | Path of the Just

THERE ARE TWO FACTORS which bring a person to Humility: habit and thought. Habit, in this respect, consists in a person’s accustoming himself little by little to Humility by conducting himself with lowliness after the fashion previously mentioned – occupying a humble seat, walking at the end of the company, and wearing modest garments (respectable but not showy). By accustoming himself to this mode of conduct, he will cause Humility to enter into his heart and to inhabit it little by little until it has securely imbedded itself there. For since it is a person’s nature to swell with self-importance, it is difficult to root out this inclination at its source. It is only through outward actions, which are under his control, that he can affect his inner self, which is not to a similar extent subject to his direction, as we explained in relation to Zeal. All of this is contained in the statement of our Sages of blessed memory (Berachoth 17a), “A man should always be subtle in his fear of God;” that is, he should seek devices by which to counteract his nature and its inclination until he is victorious over them.

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