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Day One of Week 2: Chesed of Gevurah

Day One of Week 2: Chesed of Gevurah

8th Day of the Omer

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Week Two - Gevurah

If love (chesed) is the bedrock of human expression, discipline (gevurah) is the channels through which we express love. It gives our life and love direction and focus. Take a laser beam: Its potency lies in the focus and concentration of light in one direction rather than fragmented light beams dispersed in all different directions.

Gevurah - discipline and measure - concentrates and directs our efforts, our love in the proper directions. Another aspect of gevurah is - respect and awe. Healthy love requires respect for the one you love.

Day One of Week 2 (8th day of Omer): Chesed of Gevurah

The underlying intention and motive in discipline is love. Why do we measure our behavior, why do we establish standards and expect people to live up to them - only because of love. Even judgment of the guilty is only to express love. In other words punishment is not vengeance; it is just another way to express love by cleansing anything antithetical to love. Tolerance of people should never be confused with tolerance of their behavior. On the contrary: love for people includes wanting them to be the best they can and therefore helping them be aware of anything less than perfect behavior.

Chesed of gevurah is the love in discipline; awareness of the intrinsic love that feeds discipline and judgment. It is the recognition that your personal discipline and the discipline you expect of others is only an expression of love. And that comes across when disciplining. It is the understanding that we have no right to judge others; we have a right only to love them and that includes wanting them to be their best.

Ask yourself: when I judge and criticize another is it in any way tinged with any of my own contempt and irritation? Is there any hidden satisfaction in his failure? Or is it only out of love for the other?

Exercise for the day: Before you criticize someone today think twice if it is out of care and love.

From A Spiritual Guide to the Omer by Simon Jacobson
Republished with the permission of MeaningfulLife.com. If you wish to republish this article in a periodical, book, or website, please email permissions@meaningfullife.com
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Anonymous mi May 1, 2016

Thank you for the perspective Reply

BA Kress Austin April 12, 2015

I can't recall if you've modified your words since I last wrote a year ago or whether I've changed my view, but I appreciate your advice upon this year's reading.

Many thanks for your guidance. Reply

Etan Efrati Jerusalem April 11, 2015

Everyone is a crtic We all criticize the ones we love in some form or another. The question is can we do it in a constructive fashion? When I criticize am I doing it to further my own self interests, or is it because I genuinely care about our the other person and our relationship? This is a a tough one... Reply

Robert Baltimore, MD April 25, 2014

Are there scriptures that go with each daily reading? Reply

Anonymous April 23, 2014

Thank you for this beautiful thought! Reply

Scott Korbin Cary April 22, 2014

What a wonderful perspective. Reply

BA Kress Austin April 22, 2014

I Must Disagree Where do you get the idea that we're not to judge others? The mitzvot are full of judgment. The prophets are full of judgment.

Judgment, to be sure, must be fair and balanced by love and compassion. But you err badly by separating love and judgment and putting them at opposite poles.

In fact, the notion of chesed of gevurah suggests a mingling. There should be lovingkindness in our discipline. Rather than advising extra caution in criticizing, I wish you had suggested that we discipline ourselves to a "tough love" that can be of greater help to others than the sort of softness or coddling that is often enabling of bad habits and weakness. Reply

Maria New York, NY January 22, 2014

Thank you, Chaya Bluma Your comment is amazing, thanks for sharing. I'm also trying to walk in Hashem's way. Although, unfortunately, I was not brought up as a Jew, I am learning day by day, with the help of web sites like Chabad. Luckily, my great grandmother preserved the Jewish light for my neshama, baruch Hashem! In the last 49 days or 2013 I counted the omer as way of character refinement, and now I initiated another cycle of counting. I am already feeling a better person, treating myself better, striving to be more helpful, growing closer to G-d. Thanks. Reply

Susan Colorado April 3, 2013

Chesed of gevurah With G-d's help I am learning that to truly love and honestly love another I first have to truly and honestly love myself
With G-d's help I am realizing that the only one I can change is myself , others I can only love Reply

Ira Harrsion-Rubin Detroit Suberbs April 3, 2013

I Love your display of Love. Reply

Eugina Giovanna Herrera New York City, New York April 3, 2013

Listening and Communicating In other words, is a resurfacing of our own emotions of how we express ourselves by listening and communicating with an open mind of understanding (binah) the second intellectual Sephira, and also by healing each other when we connect thru our emotions, we always are healing each other when interacting, like now.

Thank you for sharing this Reply

Linda McMIllan Yangon, Burma April 2, 2013

How is this different from Gevurah of Chesed? They have to be similar, but surly they are not the same. I am missing the distinction.

Thanks,

Lindy Reply

Anonymous Jasper April 15, 2012

Omer I thank you very much for reminders,and teachings,it is a great help Reply

Anonymous usa, usa April 7, 2010

Discipline expressing love PRINCIPLE.... Oh, how much heartache and misunderstanding this wisdom would have spared...if taken truly "to heart"....Thank you. Not being able to undo the lost deeds that would have lead to showing love is one of the deepest tragedies life can show us. Better to see to use the discipline, and DO it, than be found unable to pick up the pieces in the wake of neglect. A VERY hard ut necessary lesson...one I hope
few others have to learn. I always thought of discipline as "mechanical", and feelings as expression, when shared. BUT BETTER a word unsaid, than a heart full of feelings that destroy the very love they are trying to express. THis wisdom is priceless.
Thank you, again. Reply

Chaya Bluma April 7, 2010

This Year in Jerusalem A year's gone by & I'm still learning to nurture the love within my discipline.

This is (as always) so appropriate because I went to file a traffic violation report with the police today. When the women scraped my car yesterday & refused to give me her insurance info, I was stunned by her chutzpah.

Fortunately, today I am focusing on the love within the gevurah & know that she is a menace to the community (and to herself within that). With that intention, I managed to spend two hours dealing with that hassle and still remain positive & connected to G-d. Reply

Chaya Bluma April 23, 2009

Self-Discipline "Chesed of gevurah ... is the recognition that your personal discipline ... is only an expression of love."

I choose to take on Torah observance knowing that G-d is the sole deciding force that exists. We can only do our part (hishtadlut) by trying to correct ourselves while helping others whenever possible.

G-d is Good. The nature of Good is to do good to others. Therefore if He decreed that it is good for Jews to keep Shabbat, eat kosher, celebrate certain holidays, be modest, etc. then I have two choices:
1. To choose Good & learn to live according to halachah.
2. Choose to distance myself from the Good.

Only after years of observant living am I (thank G-d) learning that G-d seriously wants me to take good care of myself. This self-discipline (difficult though it is) is for my own good.

Therefore just for today I choose:
to express gratitude to G-d
to eat for nutrition
to get enough sleep
to express my needs honestly
to be responsible for myself Reply

Laura April 15, 2007

Thank you for explaining the siefer, I was quite perplexed and intrigued about their inclusion in the prayers.

If there is anything else I could read to get a deeper understanding, please let me know. Reply

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