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Midot Hayom: Day 48: Yesod in Malchut

Yehudah ben Tabbai used to say: Before I entered high office, when someone would urge me: “Enter it,” I would wish to harass him to death. Now that I have attained high office, when someone tells me to resign, I wish I could pour a kettle of hot water on him. For just as it is hard to rise to high office, so it is hard to be demoted from it. Avot of Rabbi Nathan 10:3


It is difficult, once we have achieved a certain position of Malchut – Leadership, whether in a community, an organization, or even within a small group, to not define ourselves by that position. Once that happens, once we begin to define ourselves by that position, we fight for that position rather than for ourselves. We lose our loyalty to the position in our desire to maintain what we have gained.

We find that this happened to Saul: When he was told: “Become the king!” he hid, as it says, “God replied: Yes, he is hiding among the baggage.” (Samuel I 10:22) But when he was told: “Give up the throne,” he chased David and wanted to kill him.

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