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Midot Hayom Day 8: Chesed in Gevurah

“Benaiah ben Jehoiada, one of King David’s mighty warriors.” (Samuel II 20:23) “David set him over his guard.” (Samuel II 23:23) Benaiah never departed from the walls of David’s heart; there will never be a separation between them. (Zohar 1:7a)

“[He was] the son of a living man.” (Samuel II 23:20) “He went down and slew a lion inside a pit on a day of snow.” Some say he smashed pieces of ice covering a frozen Mikvah and went down and immersed himself before learning Torah. Some say he studied the entire book of Torat Kohanim on a short winter day. (Berachot 18b)

Benaiah is known for his Gevurah, being a mighty warrior. The two Midrashim describe how he used his Gevurah, or might, in expansive ways; his commitment to King David, which is eternal, and his use of his might to grow in purity, i.e. the Mikvah, and learning, Torat Kohanim.

Gevurah must begin with an awareness of our strengths. Chesed in Gevurah is learning how to use those strengths to help others and using those strengths to push ourselves to grow and expand.


Make a list of your greatest strengths for this entire week of Gevurah, the second of the seven weeks.

How can you use these strengths to nurture others?

Plan how one spiritual exercise for each day of the week of Gevurah that will demand that you use one of your strengths to achieve a higher level in your service of God.

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