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
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]