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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 40: Hod in Yesod

[When Joseph remained alone with his brothers, he] was in grave danger, for if his brothers had slain him, no one in the world would have defended him. But Joseph thought, “It is better for me to be killed than to humiliate my brothers in front of the

Egyptians.” (Tanchuma, Vayigash 5)

Joseph, the Tzaddik of Yesod, would only focus on the importance of this moment in the development of the much broader picture, the Yesod that drove and guided them and him and the destiny of the nation to this meeting. He had to protect the Hod of the brothers, and not worry for his immediate safety.  His Yesod, or  loyalty to the Foundation, allowed him to see every moment as part of something much larger.

The brothers immediately understood Joseph’s choice to protect their honor even at risk to his life. That is why they did not kill him! It was his ability to use his Yesod to protect their Hod that saved his life!

Joseph not only used his sense of Yesod to protect his brothers’ Hod, he demonstrated the glory of Yesod, or, the Hod in Yesod.
I often ask myself before arguing a point with someone else, “Is this point worth damaging our relationship?” A parent, responsible for the development of the “whole” child, the Yesod, must always be aware of the Hod of the child when teaching or arguing a point: “Is this point consistent with his/her Yesod?” meaning, “will it enhance or damage the child’s Hod?”

A person who truly lives with a sense of life being rooted in something much larger will maintain respect for others even while arguing an important point. That will not only protect the other’s Hod, it will demonstrate the Hod of Yesod.


  1. Am I able to demonstrate the glory of Yesod when interacting with others?
  2. Am I conscious of the Hod of those for whom I am responsible for their Yesod, their broader development?


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