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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 30: Gevurah in Hod

When the Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt” (Exodus 4:19), the utterance split into two voices and took on two aspects. Moses heard in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt” while

Aaron heard, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses” (ibid. v. 27) (Shemot Rabbah 5:9).

When Aaron offered the Levites as a wave offering, he offered twenty-two thousand in one day. How did he offer them? He moved them back and forth, up and down. This shows that he has great strength (Vayikra Rabbah 26:9).
Aaron tied a rope of iron about his waist and went around to all the houses of Israel. To whoever was ignorant he taught Kriat Shema and prayer, and to whoever could not learn Torah he taught [Torah] (Tanna d’Bei Eliyahu Rabbah, ed. Meir Ish Shalom).

Avraham Avinu figured out, as did some of his contemporaries, that there was a, “Builder and Master,” of the palace, meaning, a single, unique Creator. Avraham didn’t stop there. He began a quest to discover this Craetor and to develop a relationship with Him. He didn’t have an instruction manual so he decided to emulate the Creator in the ways that he perceived and experienced Him. Avraham was taken with the Chesed of existence itself, unearned Life Force, and chose to attach to God by emulating His Chesed.

Yitzchak Avinu expereinced God’s Gevurah/Din at the Binding of Yitzchak, and chose to attach to God through Gevurah. Each of the Seven who represent the Seven Lower Sefirot took the same approach. Each chose to attach to God through his personal experiences of Him.

Imagine Aharon sitting one day and hearing God’s voice instructing him to “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” The wilderness is a huge place, and the message did not come with a GPS to guide him to where he should meet his brother. He immediately inferred that his was only part of a message, and that Moshe received a similar instruction with more details.

Aharon understood that one primary message is broken into sections with different parties receiving what was intended specifically for them. Each message was particular based on the unique personality of the receiver. The message was directed through Gevurah – Specificity – to the deepest part of the receiver’s soul – its Hod.

Aharon developed the same sense of Hod in his quest to attach to God. When he was presented with twenty-two thousand Leviim and told that he would have to lift each and wave him back and forth, all on one day, he did not feel overwhelmed by the huge number. He used his Hod to focus on the essence of each Levi he lifted and waved.

Aharon did not lift and wave twenty-two thousand Leviim. He worked with one at a time, using his Hod to focus on each with specificity – Gevurah in Hod.

He used the same tact when he went out through the camp to teach Torah. He used his Hod to look at each person, one at a time, and was able to determine what and how to teach each person.

When we pay attention to our experiences of God, we are accessing Hod. Each soul responds to life, learning, Mitzvot and prayer, differently. That difference reflects our Hod.

When we go to the next step and begin to pay attention to the particular message we receive with each experience, we are accessing Gevurah in Hod.

Once we have acquired a basic sense of Hod, we will be begin to sense the Hod of others, and we will be able to interact with each person in the specific manner that speaks to him or her – Gevurah in Hod.

A teacher can stand before a classroom full of students and simply recite the lesson. A real teacher will have a sense of the Hod, or essence of each student, and be sure that he presents the lesson in a manner that will resonate with each particular child.

A student once gave me a book about NLP – NeuroLinguistic Programming. The very basic idea is that people experience the world in different ways. For example, one person will say, “I hear what you are saying,” a second will respond, “I see what you mean,” while a third may say, “Feels right to me.” The first example processes the world through sound, the second, through sight, and the third, through touch. An effective teacher or therapist will pay attention to a person’s sense of experience and will communicate to each through his or her way of processing information.

When we pay attention to whether a student, child, or friend, uses sight, sound, or touch, to process information, we are touching the surface of Hod. When we communicate through their system, we are using Gevurah in Hod? See what I mean? Do you hear what I’m saying? Does it feel right to you?


  1. Review what you know about the different Midot, and see, hear, or feel, which one speaks, looks or feels most real to you.
  2. Determine how God, Torah and life, communicate with that part of you.
  3. Reflect on two of the most important people in your life and and figure out which Midah is theirs. Speak to that part of them.
  4. Or, you can always practice NLP!


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