C loseness to H ashem
C hapter E ighteen
T he P rohibition of H aughtiness

  1. In the Nefesh Hachaim in the additional chapters between
    sha’ar 3 and sha’ar 4, he writes [adapted], “You the reader, here
    is your guidance, with Hashem’s help, in the ways of truth, to
    show you the way that you should safely go. You will then be
    able to slowly rise through the aforementioned levels, according
    to the purity of your soul and according to your aspirations,
    more than what is laid out before you here, and also according
    to one’s habit. You will see with your very own eyes that
    whatever you make a habit of, from all these levels, will add
    purity onto your previous purity, though engaging oneself in
    Torah and performing mitzvot, and in the fear and love of
  2. We see therefore that one must guard and take great care
    that one’s self-opinion not overtake nor lift him up from serving
    his Creator with purity of thought. A person should not feel
    haughty from this. One must search and investigate this very
    much. It is written clearly, “Any haughtiness of heart is an
    abomination before Hashem” (Mishlei 17). This is even if the
    haughtiness is not apparent to others, only within his own heart,
    it is still a disgrace before Hashem, and as is well-known, is the
    source and the cause for all bad character traits.
  3. It is written in the gemarah that one who is proud is as if he
    built a forbidden private alter, and the presence of Hashem wails
    over it. It also says in Pesachim 66b, “Whoever is proud, if he
    was a wise person, his wisdom is removed from him.”
  4. Whoever has fear of Hashem within him will tear the hair of
    his head and bring tears to his eyes when he takes to heart from
    who Chazal teach this principle; Hillel the Elder, who is
    described in the words of Chazal for his unbelievable humility.
    Despite this, it occurred once that it seemed he raised himself
    high and was punished for this immediately; the halacha was
    hidden from him [Pesachim 66]. What can we say, and what can
    we speak about. We need to investigate and inspect for this at
    every moment. (End of adapted quote from the Nefesh Hachaim)
  5. See at length the great severity of the prohibition of
    haughtiness in the gemarah and in ethical works. Although we
    can not elaborate here, we can only bring a little to awaken
    ourselves that a person, strengthen himself in the service of
    Hashem, and not come to haughtiness.