Midot Hayom 5770 Day 19: Hod in Tiferet
She (Rebecca) escorted him (Jacob) as far as [Isaac’s] door and said, “I have done all I can for you. Henceforth, your Creator will stand by you” (Bereishit Rabbah 65:17). When the patriarch Jacob entered his father’s [room], the Garden of Eden entered with him [for the smell of his garment was that of the Garden of
Eden generated by the righteous Jacob] (ibid. 65:22).
I used to read the opening Midrash as a mother telling her child, “I have done what I can, now you are in God’s hands.” I took another look at the Midrash and realized that my original reading was wrong. Rebecca would never have said that she had done all she could. Our Matriarch knew that God is in charge, and that there is no Power in the world other than Him.
Rebecca was informing Jacob that she was confident that he had achieved a level of being able to have God stand by him. Rebecca sensed the Hod, the glory, of Jacob’s Tiferet. She had pushed him to balance his Temimut with some of his older brother’s cunning. She succeeded. Jacob, who was too frightened to move without his mother’s guidance and reassurance, was now able to go forward on his own in his mission to steal the blessings from Esau.
Rebecca took her son and guided him to the level of Hod in Tiferet. His Hod, the Glory of his Tiferet was so palpable that even though he was wearing his brother’s clothes, which usually smelled of the field, (the home of the original snake) they now smelled of the Garden of Eden.
Hod in Tiferet reminds us that whether as a parent, teacher, or friend, when we offer guidance, advice, or criticism, it must be in such a manner that will allow the recipient to discover his own inner beauty.
Rather than teach, ”You cannot get so angry!” we should offer a practical way for him to learn how to express anger in a healthful and safe way.
Instead of berating ourselves for mishandling a situation, we can strategize how to better handle such situations in the future.