What are the best books, writings and great works by traditional scholars and Rabbis in Judaism dealing with the topic of humility? I want very traditional and age old works the likes of which you would see on Sefaria.com . For example the Sefer Hasidim (Book of the Pious) deals with being pious and aspects of what one would call Jewish Asceticism. What would you suggest? I know many books are in Hebrew and my Hebrew is very bad so English is requested. Fell free to suggest ANY good books in any language though.

  • Why the mysticism tag?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 2, 2023 at 21:30
  • IDK -- I thought it would be cool if the two some how were connected. Plus those old books all seem kind of mystical and archaic to me.
    – naarter
    May 3, 2023 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


I would recommend Chovot Levavot, Orchot Tzaddikim and Mesilat Yisharim. All have chapters/sections on humility (Chovot Levavot has a section on Jewish 'asceticism', as does Mesilat Yisharim), all are age old and traditional, authored by great scholars and sages, and all are on sefaria in English.

  • Thank you Rabbi Kaii. I appreciate it. I am also greatly interested in Jewish asceticism, do you have any suggestions on related works or opinions on Jewish asceticism in general?
    – naarter
    May 3, 2023 at 22:44
  • @naarter I recommend reading the whole of Mesilat Yisharim, so you understand the proper "place" of ascetism in Judaism. The focus will be on perishut (abstinence) and chassidut (piety), as these cover the topic. You can then study chassidic philosophy in detail. I personally recommend Chabad Chassidus - start with the Tanya. Good luck
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 4, 2023 at 13:46
  • Thank you Rabbi, I will do as you say.
    – naarter
    May 4, 2023 at 15:34

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