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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 11: Netzach in Gevurah

“I will bless you . . . I will increase your offspring” (Genesis 26:3,4). Isaac deduced [that just like an increase in offspring would not come without his actions, so too (Chasdei Dovid)] the blessing would depend on

the work of his hands, [so] he stood and sowed (Genesis 26:12) (Tosefta Berachot 6:13).

It is difficult to imagine that Isaac didn’t know that he had to act in order to receive blessing. Did he believe that all he had to do was sit there and receive God’s blessings?

Isaac understood that God’s blessings to Abraham were a reality. He lived with absolute clarity that everything comes from God. He, the paradigm of Gevurah, also known as Din, realized that his efforts were meaningless without God’s involvement. How much effort should he expend to receive the blessings that were already a reality?

He was on the same quest as Abraham; to find the Master of the Palace, not just acknowledge His existence, but to find Him and relate to Him. He had experienced God’s absolute power over life at the Akeidah – The Binding of Isaac. His life was entirely in God’s hands. His power and abilities were only what God gave him.

In this Midrash we learn that God taught Isaac that His blessings to Abraham and to all humanity demand our involvement and effort. The eternal quality of His blessings, their Netzach, was expressed in our participation. We do not work in order to succeed. The success is completely determined by the Ultimate Power, God. We work in order to become vessels that can receive blessing. Our effort is only to attach to the eternal quality of God’s blessings, hence the comparison to “increase in offspring,” the clearest expression of the eternality of life.

One who recognizes God as the only Power and the Source of All Power dedicates all his efforts on connecting to the eternal quality of all blessings; they empower us to the point of being participants in creation.


Review the second of the Six Constant Mitzvot: One may not believe in any power other than God.

Listen to Rabbi Chaim Goldberger’s The Six Steps of Being a Boteiach.

Celebrate all your effforts today, not as what is necessary to achieve any success, but as a means to attach to the eternal quality of God’s blessings.

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