Day 12, April 27: The Hod in Gevurah

First of all, Shavu’a Tov! I hope you had a good Shabbat!

I am struggling a bit with the combination of Sefirot for today. Hod, as we mentioned last week, is literally "beauty." What, then, can we make of the "Beauty in Restraint," or perhaps "Beauty in Discernment"?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and read this combination of sefirot, The Hod in Gevurah, in a way that’s somewhat different than the (far more knowledgable) teachers we've been consulting up until today...

To create beauty in any aspect of our lives requires a choice between doing and holding back. (Once again, the issue of balance comes to the fore!) In a musical composition, the silence between the notes is at least as important as the notes themselves. In creating a work of visual art, deciding what to leave out and when to stop adding to the work is as important as knowing what to put in. Leave out too much and the message is lost. Put in too much and the result is something that is, in the classic and nearly untranslatable Yiddish slang, "ungepatchket," which means something like "cluttered up, rococo, overdone..."

A Friday night mediation in the Gates Of Prayer siddur:

An artist in the course of painting will pause, lay aside the brush, step back from the canvas, and consider what needs to be done, what direction is to be taken. So does each of us on this Sabbath eve pause to reflect. As I hope to make my life a work of art, so may this hour of worship help me to turn back to the canvas of life, to pain the portrait of my highest self.

Think about a "less is more" choice that you have made that turned out well. Where was the Hod, the beauty in the result?

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