01 May 2016

"Week Two: The Week of Gevurah"

23 Nisan 5776
8 Days of the Omer
(1 week and 1 day)
Chesed sh'b'Gevurah

When we count the Omer, each day we work on perfecting a different character trait. These traits correspond to the seven sefirot: chesed, gevurah, tiferet, netzach, hod, yesod and malchut - one for each of the seven weeks of counting up to Shavuot. Each of these sefirot also contains these seven sefirot - one for each day of the week. Last week was chesed. Today is the beginning of the second week - representing gevurah, and it's the first day of the week or chesed that is in gevurah.

Excerpt from Sefiros by Rabbi Yaacov Haber...
Gevurah is restraint. The Mishnah tells us that a gibor is someone who controls his natural inclinations. God is described as Gibor when he restrains his anger. We say in the Shemoneh Esrei prayer "You are Gibor (mighty) forever, God, and bring the dead to life."
Gevurah, also known as din (judgment), is associated with Yitzchak Avinu. Yitzchak was bound on the altar which symbolized the restraint he showed throughout his life.
...Gevurah sets boundaries and limits. It gives definition to the world and to a  person's life.
Day 8
Chesed she-be-gevurah is the attribute of rachamim, 'mercy'. Even though a person, according to the strict letter of the law, deserves punishment, God is merciful. The right hand represents chesed, the left hand represents gevurah. The Talmud teaches that if a person needs to rebuke someone he should push him away with his left hand while drawing him closer with his right. Sometimes we have to distance someone from our lives; this is gevurah. Yet, while doing so we should bring them closer; this is chesed she-be-gevurah. The left hand is our weaker hand, teaching us that sometimes strength should be displayed weakly.
Shavua tov!