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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 14: Malchut in Gevurah

“Father,” said Isaac, “I am young, and I fear that my body may shake from fear of the knife [so that] I will cause you distress, disqualify the slaughter, and invalidate the sacrifice. [Therefore,] bind me very well” (Bereishit Rabbah 56:8).

As soon as the sword reached his neck, Isaac’s soul departed. When the voice rang out from between the two cherubs and said, “Do not stretch out you hand against the lad” (Genesis 12:12), the soul returned to his body. [Abraham] loosened his bonds, and [Isaac] stood on his feet, then Isaac knew [that there is] resurrection of the dead, and he said, “blessed are you, Hashem, who resurrects the dead” (Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 31).

The Holy One, Blessed is He, did not associate his name with any [living] person except for Isaac, [who] was considered as dead. (Zohar 1:60a).

Isaac wanted his entire being to encompass – Malchut – his choice – Din – to allow his father, Abraham, to sacrifice him on the Altar. He asked Abraham to bind him, and we refer to this story as “The Binding of Isaac,” so that no part of his body would hesitate.

Because his choice – Gevurah/Din – was all encompassing, he merited to experience Resurrection, the ultimate expression of God’s Gevurah, and Olam Habah, when all existence is clearly an expression of God’s Unity. Isaac’s entire being reflected God’s Unity and God associated His Name with Isaac even when he was still living.

When our minds wander while praying or performing a Mitzvah, we lack Malchut, the quality of total commitment. This is the day of the Omer when we focus on using our strength to overcome distraction.


When you feel that your mind is wandering during prayer or the performance of a Mitzvah, stop and wait until you can refocus.

Choose one prayer or one Mitzvah that you will perform today with total commitment, your entire being.

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