SPEAK CALMLY IN ORDER TO AVOID ANGER Hear, my son, the instruction of your father and don't forsake the Torah of your mother (Mishlei 1:8). Get into the habit of always speaking calmly to everyone. This will prevent you from anger, a serious character flaw which causes people to sin. As our Rabbis said (Nedarim 22a): Whoever flares up in anger is subject to the discipline of Gehinnom as it says in (Koheles 12:10), "Cast out anger from your heart, and [by doing this] remove evil from your flesh." "Evil" here means Gehinnom, as we read (Mishlei 16:4): "...and the wicked are destined for the day of evil."
THROUGH HUMILITY COMES THE FEAR OF G-D
Once you have distanced yourself from anger, the quality of humility will enter your heart. This quality is the finest of all admirable traits (see Avodah Zarah 20b), because (Mishlei 22:4), "Following humility comes the fear of G-d." Through humility you will also come to fear G-d. It will cause you to always think about (see Avos 3:1) where you came from and where you are going, and that while alive you are only like a maggot and a worm, and the same after death. It will also remind you before Whom you will be judged, the King of Glory, as it is stated (I Melachim 8:27; Mishlei 15:11), "Even the heaven and the heavens of heaven can't contain You" -- "How much less the hearts of people!" It is also written (Yirmeyahu 23:24), "Do I not fill heaven and earth? says G-d."
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THIS YOU WILL COME TO THE FEAR OF G-D
When you think about all these things, you will come to fear G-d who created you, and you will protect yourself from sinning and therefore be happy with whatever happens to you. Also, when you act humbly and modestly before everyone, and are afraid of G-d and of sin, the radiance of His glory and the spirit of the Shechina will rest upon you, and you will live the life of the World-to-Come! WHOEVER IS PROUD REBELS AGAINST G-D And now, my son, understand and observe that whoever feels that he is greater than others is rebelling against the Kingship of G-d, because he is adorning himself with His garments, as it is written (Tehillim 93:1), "The Lord reigns, He wears clothes of pride." Why should one feel proud? Is it because of wealth? G-d makes one poor or rich (I Shmuel 2:7). Is it because of honor? It belongs to G-d, as we read (I Divrei Hayamim 29:12), "Wealth and honor come from You." So how could one adorn himself with G-d's honor? And one who is proud of his wisdom surely knows that G-d "takes away the speech of assured men and reasoning from the sages" (Iyov 12:20)! So we see that everyone is the same before G-d, since with His anger He lowers the proud and when He wishes He raises the low. So lower yourself and G-d will lift you up!
SPEAK GENTLY AND CONSIDER ALL MEN SUPERIOR TO YOU
Therefore, I will now explain to you how to always behave humbly. Speak gently at all times, with your head bowed, your eyes looking down to the ground and your heart focusing on G-d. Don't look at the face of the person to whom you are speaking. Consider everyone as greater than yourself. If he is wise or rich, you should give him respect. If he is poor and you are richer -- or wiser -- than he, consider yourself to be more guilty than he, and that he is more worthy than you, since when he sins it is through error, while yours is deliberate and you should know better!
REGARD YOURSELF AS ALWAYS STANDING BEFORE G-D
In all your actions, words and thoughts, always regard yourself as standing before G-d, with His Shechinah above you, for His glory fills the whole world. Speak with fear and awe, as a slave standing before his master. Act with restraint in front of everyone. When someone calls you, don't answer loudly, but gently and softly, as one who stands before his master.
BE CAREFUL TO ALWAYS STUDY TORAH
Be careful to always study Torah diligently, so you will be able to fulfill its commands. When you arise from your learning reflect carefully on what you have studied, in order to see what in it that you can be put into practice. Examine your actions every morning and evening, and in this way every one of your days will be spent in teshuvah (repentance).
CONCENTRATE ON YOUR PRAYERS
Concentrate on your prayers by removing all worldly concerns from your heart. Prepare your heart before G-d, purify your thoughts and think about what you are going to say. If you follow this in all your daily actions, you will not come to sin. This way everything you do will be proper, and your prayer will be pure, clear, clean, devout and acceptable to G-d, as it is written (Tehillim 10:17), "When their heart is directed to You, listen to them."
READ THIS LETTER ONCE A WEEK AND G-D WILL ANSWER YOU IN ALL YOU ASK Read this letter at least once a week and neglect none of it. Fulfill it, and in so doing, walk with it forever in the ways of G-d, may He be blessed, so that you will succeed in all your ways. Thus you will succeed and merit the World to Come which lies hidden away for the righteous. Every day that you shall read this letter, heaven shall answer your heart's desires. Amen, Sela!