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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 36: Chesed in Yesod

“They would not speak to him (Joseph) peaceably” (Genesis 37:4). Joseph would come and ask about their welfare, and they would not reply to him. Even when he had been given a position of leadership, it was his custom to inquire the well being of

his brothers (Tanchuma, ed. Buber, Vayeishev 7).

Yosef was constantly aware that he, his position and his success were rooted in God – Yesod. He did not change when he became viceroy of Egypt, because he did not view his great position as his, but as something from God. Therefore, even after he became an important leader, he continued to inquire the well being of his brothers.

Yosef wanted to share this sense of Yesod with his brothers. Even when there was tension between them, he continued to inquire about their welfare. He wanted them to understand that his care and concern were not affected by the tension. Yosef knew that it was important for all of them to rise above the personal issues, and connect to the Yesod – the Foundation – of their existence; they were the future of the nation. That connection could not suffer because of personal issues. He understood that if he nurtured their sense of Yesod, their appreciation of being part of the destiny of the nation, they would perceive themselves differently. They would expand with life force – Chesed.

When we become wrapped up in an argument and focus on the insignificant issue that divides us, we lose our Yesod, our sense of being rooted in God with a great destiny and role. Spouses who argue forget the power of their connection.
Yesod, a deep sense of loyalty to God, and the awareness that we possess a soul rooted in God, helps us maintain perspective.

Chesed in Yesod asks that we nurture the Yesod of others so that they can expand and grow.


  1. Focus on Yesod the entire week. Pay special attention to the blessing, Elokai, Neshama. Appreciate the gift of your soul.
  2. Honor other people. Treat them with respect. Inquire of their welfare and pay attention to the response.
  3. Make an effort to connect with someone with whom you have tension and let them know that the relationship is more important than the argument.


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