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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 16: Gevurah in Tiferet

Why did the patriarch Jacob see fit to strive so ardently for the birthright? [as] we learned: before the tabernacle was erected, high places, were permitted [i.e. sacrifices could be offered at privately erected altars], and the service was performed by the firstborn.

Said Jacob, “shall this wicked man [Esau] stand and offer sacrifices?” (Bereishit Rabbah 63:13).

Throughout that day, Esau hunted deer and trapped them, and an angel came to release them; he hunted birds and ensnared them, and an angel came and freed them. Why was all this necessary? So that Jacob could come and take the blessings. (ibid. 67:2).

Part of Tiferet is to ensure that the person acting reflects the beauty of his actions. Jacob realized that Esau did not reflect the beauty of the offerings. Esau was focused only on himself, as wee in the second Midrash that describes him as forgetting about feeding his father until he would succeed at his hunting. His personality lacked the specific beauty, the Gevurah in Tiferet, of his actions for his father and for God.

We must work on making sure that our characteristics represent the beauty of our actions. We must be beautiful vessels when we pray, study Torah and perform Mitzvot.


Spend time before each Mitzvah considering which part of me reflects the beauty of the Mitzvah.

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