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The Duties of the Heart, by Rabbi Bachye, tr. by Edwin Collins, [1909], at

Aids to the Cultivation of Humility

Among the aids to the cultivation of proper humility are the contemplation of the greatness of man's obligation to the Creator and the thought of how small is his fulfilment of his duties, whether those commanded by his own Reason or by Scripture. Another is contemplation of the wonders of the universe and on the insignificance of man in comparison with even this earth, while, in comparison with the greatness of the Creator, the whole universe, even the highest sphere, * is as nothing.

If a man fills his mind with these and similar thoughts, he will be continually humble, until humility has become a part of his very nature, and all pride and arrogance and haughtiness are removed from his

p. 36

heart, and this will deliver him from sin and error; as our sages, of blessed memory, say: "Think of three things and thou wilt never fall into sin; whence thou comest, whither thou goest, before whom thou hast to render an account."


35:* In summarising, I have, here, been careful not to modernise the form of B's thought too much. Of course, its substance is as valid now as in the days of the Copernican astronomy.

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