Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
These last hectic days before Pesach are bound to be marked by tension, stress, and even conflict. Today, the 11th of Nissan, 750 years ago, the Ramban passed away. He was among the greatest thinkers and commentators of our people. He left behind him “Iggeret HaRamban”, an ethical will written for his son. The Ramban recommends reading it at least once a week. Here is some of the practical advice within:
- “Accustom yourself to always speak all of your words calmly, to every person, all the time. In doing so you will prevent your anger from flaring, which is a bad attribute in a human being and may cause you to sin. And so our Rabbis said, ‘Anyone who gets angry – all of Gehinnom rules over him.'”
- “When you will have freed yourself from anger, the quality of humility will enter your heart which is the best of all good traits.”
- “Consider everyone as greater than yourself. If someone is wise or wealthy, you should give that person respect. If someone is poor and you are wealthier or wiser, consider yourself to be more at fault and less worthy than the other person, since when that person sins it is inadvertent, while you act knowingly”.
Calm speech, humility, respect towards the other person no matter who it is, fleeing from anger – a wonderful recipe for the days before Pesach, especially this year.