Day 31, May 16: The Tiferet in Hod

Our combination of Sefirot today, on this 31st day of counting, is the Tiferet in Hod, the inner balance in beauty/multiplicity. How might we understand this?

This is a day, perhaps, to remember that the great profusion of diversity in creation, in relationships, in our own lives, exists and flows from–and is a manifestation of–that deepest balance and harmony.

In the variety of the relationships we have with all the different people around us, there is a natural human tendency at times to “write someone off” as being useless, trivial, not worth our time. In doing so, we deny Tiferet, the sense of balance that says that this person, too, is here for a reason.

While it may be true that some relationships are so “toxic” to us that we cannot find redemptive worth in them, the Balance in Multiplicity might remind us, as we are taught in the Mishnah, Pirkay Avot, that wisdom is the ability “to learn from every person.” There is also a somewhat less well known quotation from the same text (4:3),

“Treat no one disrespectfully and dismiss nothing as useless, for everyone has their moment, and everything has its place.”

Spend some time thinking about individuals in your life whom you may tend to treat or think of dismissively. Can you find a place of value or balance for them in your life/psyche? Can you even say a prayer of gratitude that they are part of your life?

Rabbi Steve Folberg
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