Day 44, May 29: The Gevurah in Malkhut

The 44th day of the Omer once again brings us back to our old friend, Gevurah/Restraint/Discernment. What is the discernment/restraint in Presence?

In speaking of God's decision to create humanity, the Torah quotes God as saying/thinking:

נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ

"Let us make a human being in Our image, after Our likeness."

The great French Jewish rabbinic commentator, Rashi, understands "after Our likeness" to mean,

לְהָבִין וּלְהַשְׂכִּיל

"to understand and be wise." (This same Hebrew phrase used by Rashi, l'haveen u-l'haskeel, “to understand and be wise," appears in the morning blessing before the Shema: "Our Parent and Ruler, for the sake of our ancestors who trusted in You, and to whom You taught the laws of life, be gracious to us and teach us as well... and give our hearts/minds the ability l'haveen u-l'haskeel, to understand and be wise...")

So, when we consider the Discernment in Presence, we may focus upon the teaching that we act "in God's likeness" when we seek wisdom and discernment. This is, as the prayerbook blessing above teaches us, the point of studying Torah.

What does the word “discernment” mean to you? How could you make use of this teaching in your life?

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