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Midot Hayom 5770: Day 2: Gevurah in Chesed

Job would forcibly take a field away from orphans, improve it, and then return it to them (Bava Basra 16a). Gevurah is usually associated with self-control, as in, “Who is a Gibbor – a mighty person? One who conquers his creative

drives.” (Avot 4:1) Yet, in this selection we find that Job understood Gevurah as empowerment. He appreciated that people did not enjoy being on the receiving end of charity, so he would “steal the land of poor people,” and improve the land while he was in court of the theft. He succeeded in helping others without the shame of charity.

Gevurah in Chesed is to use Chesed to empower the recipient, and flows directly from “Whoever took a penny [of charity] from Job would be blessed (Pesachim 112a). Job did his Chesed as an act of empowerment thereby transforming the Chesed into more blessing.

We can use this day of the Omer to focus on using Chesed as a way of empowering others.


Give charity to organizations that help people find employment.

Make a special effort to help someone find work.

Pay attention to the needs of those closest to you and find a way to help them do something for themselves. Offer to babysit so that parents can have time alone.

Spend the day asking, “How can I help you?”

Call someone who is depressed, or someone who is in mourning, about whom people usually forget after Shiva is over.

Focus on the second blessing of the Amidah: Gevurah, or Empowerment, emphasizing God as the Source of Empowerment.

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