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The purity of the mind may only come through the neshamah-soul.

The Interconnection of Humility, Awe and Devotion

The Interconnection of Humility, Awe and Devotion

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The Interconnection of Humility, Awe and Devotion
The purity of the mind may only come through the neshamah-soul.

The character traits of humility, awe and devotion are all interconnected, in the form of a chain whose first link is holiness. Holiness is like the root of all traits, while humility and other traits are like the branches stemming from it, for one who has acquired holiness must be imbued with humility as well, as we have explained. Yet, it is also important to be aware of the close link between humility and fear of sin.

...humility is bound to come as a consequence of holiness...

When man contemplates what we have explained in the Gate of Holiness concerning the holiness of each and every body part, he will see that humility is bound to come as a consequence of holiness; both are bound together and form one single entity, like brothers who are never apart.

For instance, if he sanctifies his eyes, as we noted there, he will keep his eyes lowered, which is one of the main requirements for humility.

If he sanctifies his tongue, he will certainly not utter sharp retorts, as an angry person is wont to do.

And if he sanctifies his heart, he will need to keep traits such as envy and hatred at bay, which is, once again, a sign of humility.

Hence, we can see that all the practices geared to acquire humility - as well as all of its elements – actually depend on man’s personal striving for holiness, as we have explained earlier.

We may see an additional link between holiness and humility, and between humility and fear of sin. The essence of man’s holiness depends on the holiness of his mind. In our Gate of Holiness [section in the book Reishit Chachma] we have cited the Zohar’s interpretation of the verse "you shall sanctify yourselves and you will be holy," as an injunction to sanctify the mind. Yet, the holiness of the mind may only come through the neshamah – soul, as we have explained there.

[Translated by Simcha Benyosef]

Rabbi Eliyahu da Vidas d. c. 5353 (c. 1593 CE). Disciple of RaMaK; possibly studied under the Ari zal as well, whom he certainly knew. Wrote Reishit Chochma, a kabbalistic ethical treatise.
Simcha H. Benyosef is a scholar living in Jerusalem. Formerly a close student of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Benyosef is also the translator of the 16th century Safed classic, Reishit Chochma ("Beginning of Wisdom").
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