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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 10: Tiferet in Gevurah

Samael came to Isaac and said, “son of the distressed woman, he is going to slaughter you!” “Nevertheless I will go,” replied Isaac. Said [Samael], “if so, all the jewels that your mother prepared for you will go to the hated Ishmael as an inheritance, and you do not care?” and although not

all these words entered his heart, at least something entered. Then Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “my father – “ (Genesis 22:7). Why does it say father twice? So that [Abraham] should be filled with compassion for him. [However, upon hearing his father’s response that it was Gods Will, Isaac accepted his destiny with perfect faith] (Bereishit Rabbah 56:4).

Samael, or Satan, did not directly challenge Isaac’s Gevurah, inner strength. He attempted to introduce a small element of unease, disquiet, and deprive Isaac’s Gevurah of its Tiferet, the quality of beautiful balance. “Son of the distressed woman,” “You do not care!”

“At least something entered,” and Isaac needed Abraham’s compassion. The Tiferet of Isaac’s Gevurah was disturbed, “Upon hearing…that it was God’s Will,” the balance was restored for the only issue is God’s Will. Isaac’s Gevurah was not measured by his objective, but by God’s demand.

We often are faced with situations that demand great fortitude. We have a sense of what is right or “what needs to be done,” and forge ahead, ignoring any sense of unease. Tiferet in Gevurah demands that we direct our strength by directing it by God’s Will, not our own.

I recently received a call from a professional “Shalom” advocate. He describes himself as a peacemaker and he is willing to forge ahead with his agenda ignoring his effect on the parties. He uses his great inner strength to push, plead and argue his case until the matter is resolved. He claims to have succeeded in the past in reaching a compromise. He admits that he has never achieved Shalom or actual peace.

He may have Gevurah, but it lacks Tiferet. He is aware of the Halachot that demand that we avoid arguments, but he is unaware of the numerous details of how Halacha guides such efforts. He even admits that he is uncomfortable with himself when he “has to agitate the people in order to achieve Shalom!” Again, his Gevurah lacks Tiferet.

I suggested that he first learn how to listen, not just to the words of the opposite claims, but to understand what each party feels and what they need to prove to the other and to themselves. I urged him to listen until he could so empathize with the two parties that he had a sense of inner balance or Tiferet.


Return to the list you made for the first day of Gevurah.

Do you use any of those strengths to fight against evil?

Are you fighting for your agenda or have you first evaluated how to battle with a sense of Tiferet?

Do you have to ignore your misgivings when fighting for something?

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