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Midot Hayom: Day 13: Yesod in Gevurah

The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Iyov: “Iyov, you have not reached half of Abraham’s measure. You sit in your house waiting for wayfarers to arrive. To one used to eating wheat bread, you serve wheat bread; to one used to eating meat you serve meat. To one used to drinking wine, you give wine to drink. But Abraham did not act like this. He went out looking for wayfarers and when he found them, he brought them into his house. He gave wheat bread to one who was not used to eat wheat bread; he served meat to one who was not used to eating meat; he gave wine to one used to drinking wine. He also built large lodges on the highways, stocking them with food and drink, and every passing wayfarer ate, drank and blessed Heaven.” Avot of Rabbi Nathan 7:1

Gevurah is a synonym for Din, or Judgment. The specific person is judged for each specific action. The Midah of Gevurah addresses the judgments we make, how we make them, and how we act because of those judgments. Iyov treated each individual with specific Chesed. He provided each person with what they needed and to what they were accustomed. He paid great attention to each person as an individual. He focused on their specific needs. Yet, the Sages teach, that even his extraordinary Chesed was lacking. He treated each person as they were. He saw them for who they were. Abraham did even more. He treated each person, not as they were, but as they could be. He interacted with them as them at their best. He related to them in a manner that allowed them to experience themselves at their best, even just for a few moments. That is why Abraham was able to connect people with their Creator and have them “bless Heaven”. They sensed how great they could be if they were connected to Heaven.

On this day we should focus on relating to people at their highest and best. Although extremely difficult, we must practice this Midah even with someone who is acting at their worst. We should respond to the best in the person who is yelling at us. We should speak to our children as if they were at their very best even when they are not acting properly.

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