Midot Hayom 5770 Day 31: Tiferet in Hod
“He [Aaron] built an altar before it [The Golden Calf] (Exodus 32:5).” He understood [the situation] from seeing Hur slain before him and said, “If I do not obey them now, they will do to me as they did to Hur, and there will never be any amends for them.
It is better that they serve the calf, [for which] perhaps they can make amends through repentance” (Sanhedrin 7a, Rashi).
The most striking part of this Midrash, at least for me, is that there is no indication of fear for his life on Aaron’s part. His only concern is for the people, and how he can respond in a way that will leave the door to Teshuva open before them.
He is willing to risk all that he had accomplished, forfeiting his role as Cohen Gadol and even his portion in the World To Come, in order to protect the people and maintain their Hod.
There was an emotional and angry mob. They had already spilled blood, and Aharon surely realized that he did not have a much time in which to consider his decision. His answer was immediate, an expression of his being. The man of Hod was focused on their inner beauty even as they were sinning and bloodthirsty. His very being immediately considered how they could repair the damage they were causing. He was only interested in how they could restore, or rebalance, their Hod, after their sin. Aaron saw the inherent beauty of the world running through all of creation and dedicated himself to maintaining its balance, or Tiferet.
What is our reaction when we observe someone doing something wrong? Are we able to see his Hod even at such moments?
What about our children, students, or spouse?
A person of Hod will not be caught up in the heat of the moment, and will not immediately respond defensively, but will focus the conversation/argument in a way that will lead to Tiferet, a balanced and calm interaction.
- Practice focusing on the inner beauty of people with whom you are angry.
- Reflect on whether your recent interactions with your children have included nurturing their inner beauty even when you are upset with them.