The TBE Brotherhood hard at work reminding us all to remember the Holocaust - sending out Holocaust Memorial Candles to the whole congregation. Remembering to do a kindness requires effort.Read More
Gevurah in Yesod - rigor, discipline, and strength in a solid foundation.
Building anything lasting, starting with the ground up, requires discipline. This applies to relationships as well as construction projects.
I have actually managed to ride bicycles to school with my son twice this week - and what a joy. This didn't happen all at once.
The first time Jude and I went for a long bike ride it ended in his tears. That was more than two years ago. Since then I worked with Jude, when he asked, on his bike riding. I often ran miles along side his bike when he dropped the training wheels to help him to gain confidence, listening to his requests for help. Eventually, he became a confident and accomplished cyclist, and did so at his own pace.
Jude's capable cycling is his accomplishment, and I couldn't be prouder. I am grateful that I took the time to step back and be his assistant.
Sometimes rigor is self-control that needs to be used in order to participate in the building of a foundation that lasts.
Gevurah in Tiferet - strength and discipline in beauty.
This seems like an easily supported cultural pairing. The world today easily acknowledges the power, discipline, and strength, that support the core of publicly accepted people and objects of beauty.
In forging a life that aims at harmonious balance though, I often imagine myself using gentler qualities than strength. I think of my psyche as something that I am often too hard on, and therefore need to handle more carefully.
Accomplishing a beautiful and balanced result may take strength and discipline judiciously applied over a long time. Let us remember that the finest works are often crafted over decades, and not in mere minutes.
Malchut in Gevurah - sovereignty, mastering the now, in power, strength, and discipline.
Getting something done with firmness and strength requires a realistic assessment of the needs for force.
In the moment, we often find ourselves rising to the occasion and thinking that taking the bull by the horns, moving something by force of will, will be effective. Our instinct is often to meet things head on.
So, being present and being thoughtful about the use of strength, is the task we face in the now. Mastery may mean a deep breath before a reaction. Effective agency, reacting in the present, requires careful and thoughtful application of our personal power.
Let us gain rule over our discipline.
Yesod in Gevurah - a solid and balanced foundation in discipline and the exertion of power.
Keeping in mind solid footing before extending ourselves changes our outlook on strength itself.
When I think about this, even in an emotional and spiritual way, I still imagine it concretely in terms of taking steps on a mountain path, choosing a footing carefully. Or the idea of projecting strength through my arms and how different it is when I have to reach far. Firmly grounded, I am limited in the distance I can reach in strength, or step confidently.
With that image in mind, I get a different sense of the deeper nature of strength and discipline. Our strength depends not only on our stance, but also on where we stand. We depend on our connections to other sources of strength. True strength connects us to solid, balanced, support, and that often comes from outside sources.
Let us see our strength in the interconnections between us and all existence.