Reflect Kindness

B”H

Day 43

28 Iyar 5780 (May 22, 2020)

chesed shebbe malchus

(kindness within sovereignty)

Today begins a seven day focus on malchus (sovereignty), in combination with the other six emotional attributes. The first of these to be explored in relationship to malchus is chesed (kindness, mercy, love). Malchus (sovereignty) may be said to represent autonomy. Human beings are created in G-d’s image, so we are obligated by our godly nature, at least to make an attempt to reflect His attributes. We were also given free will; therefore, to varying degrees, we may seek an autonomous stance in life; yet, to see ourselves as independent of G-d would only be self-deception.

In our quest to seek autonomy in life, to define ourselves as an individual, with a unique personality, we should add a measure of kindness. It is not necessary to shout, “this is who I am;” rather, simply to assert ourselves in regard to our personal viewpoints. Be kind to others; allow them to express their own viewpoints; give warm regard for shared thoughts about life, the universe, and G-d. Healthy respect for the autonomy of others includes allowing enough space for others to share; spiritual growth thrives when given room to grow. Sometimes this requires silence on our part, for the sake of listening.

Day 43

Look Above

B”H

Malchus shebbe yesod

(sovereignty within foundation)

Despite whatever circumstances we may encounter in life, if we have a strong foundation we will be able to meet these challenges with dignity, a sense of self autonomy and a calm reserve, knowing that ultimately we are not in control of external events in any sphere of our lives, personal, communal, or global. Although this sounds counterintuitive, we may feel reassured that when we place our trust in G-d, acknowledging His sovereignty, we do not have to stand alone in the face of adversity.

Therefore, when we falter, because we fail to acknowledge that our own sovereignty is limited, we can rest in the knowledge that everything H’Shem (the L-RD) does is for the good. We can not control externals, however we may choose how to respond. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come? My help cometh from the L-RD, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2, JPS 1917 Tanach).

sovereignty of endurance

B”H

malchut shebbe netzach

sovereignty within endurance

Where within the quality of endurance, may autonomy be found? How does a sense of self, and personal motivation contribute to one’s endurance in the face of challenges? How much can we rely on our own autonomy, without seeking guidance from a Higher Authority? Ultimately, G-d would like us to be dependent upon Him, rather than see ourselves as completely independent. Yet, the more we depend upon Him, the less need there will be to depend upon others. Therefore, ironically, we become more self-sufficient in the eyes of others, who are not aware of the source of our strength. We endure, not only through our own efforts, but through our focus on G-d.