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Midot Hayom 5770: Day 9: Gevurah in Gevurah

“The lamb for the offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8). [Abraham] told [Isaac], “you are the lamb.” Thereupon Isaac placed his hands on his head, wept, and said to his father, “is this the great house of study of which you told my mother?” Abraham immediately wept and pulled out his hair. “Father,”

said Isaac, “Do not distress yourself. Fulfill the will of your Father in heaven through me.” “And the two of them went together (ibid).” He took him by the hand and went as one . . . (Midrash HaGadol, Bereishit 22:3).

Isaac’s initial shock and dismay did not last once he saw his father’s distress. He focused entirely on Abraham’s suffering, to the point that they “went as one.” He not only overcame his reaction; he was able to focus entirely on Abraham’s concerns.

He used his strength, or Gevurah, to overcome his reaction. He used that strength to empower Abraham and say, “Fulfill the will of your Father in heaven through me.”

It takes great Gevurah to overcome ourselves. Gevurah in Gevurah demands that we take that strength and use it to empower others.


Use the list of your strengths from Chesed in Gevurah to figure out one way that you can use your strengths to empower others. For example, if your are able to maintain perspective even when dealing with overwhelming challenges, help someone who is overwhelmed to gain perspective.

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