Sunday, May 8, 2011


As you probably know (or don't know), after Passover comes the self reflection, the self improvement, the reviewing, self analysis, repair -tikkun. This is week #3. Week #1 was about kindness -its importance, how to do it so as not to make the receiver feeling small, when to stop it, etc.  Week #2 was about gevurah -strength and restraining. Its importance, when to use it and how without squashing the other person, etc.

This week, Week #3, is about Tiferet -beauty and compassion.  Here is a flash back post on it:


What makes us beautiful on the inside is a proper balance of giving and holding back. At times we may feel inadequate and want to give more (in search of approval). This manifests by giving just a little bit too much "eye candy" to the world, or blurting out every piece of information that we know on a topic, giving way too much unasked-for advice, or just revealing everything, every gift that God gave us (how much money we have, what we possess, etc). Spilling one's guts.

The flipside is restraining overly much. This can manifest in holding back sexually --to one's husband, not getting involved with people SO THAT one doesn't have to give, erasing one's self from pictures, scenes, events, etc mentally (and in some societies, physically). Belittling oneself. Also holding back important information.

Once we have the correct measurement of giving and holding back, its beautiful! Dealing with such a person is a beautiful, wonderful experience.

Furthermore, this week is also about compassion. Without knowledge there is no compassion. If we don't know the whole story about something, most likely we'll feel vehemently one way (pity) or the other (abhorrence). The more knowledge we have of the whole story of something, the more compassionate will be our view (Please don't confuse this with political correctness or relativity in which these believe everything has equal validity). But its important that we have truths, otherwise the knowledge is ill based.

The beauty and compassion combo is called Tiferet in Hebrew. Tiferet is represented by the chest area.

Tiferet personified is Jacob. His grandfather, Abraham is "giving" to the nth degree, his father, Isaac is "holding back" to the nth degree, Jacob found the balance. He was very true to himself. Interestingly, he was the one who despite his many sons (and who know how many daughters), was able to keep everyone together and on the same path -the formation of the 12 tribes.

Tiferet and dominance (netzah). Giving and taking in the perfected measure consistantly is like finding a formula for sustenance and redoing it over and over and getting the same bountiful results! It forces us to create standards and principles based on what works.

Tiferet and splendor (hod). Giving and taking in the perfected measure with the intent of giving the other party space. This is like creating a space for someone else to talk in a conversation. Basically, give harmony a chance.

Tiferet and yesod. I covered that above (overly immodest vs prudish). This also goes for other creative avenues. In business, it could mean knowing when is the right time to give over an idea. In art, loudness vs toned down. When is which called for?

Tiferet and malkhut (kingship). Kingship, I mean, receiving from others and then giving back in return. This is knowing when to reinsert yourself (in a conversation, etc.) and should you say x or hold back?

While Jacob was tiferet personified, his son Joseph was said to be just like him. Joseph is yesod personified. (Yep, so of course he had to be tempted with sexual promiscuity by Potiphar's wife, Zuleka.) Could beauty and compassion (and sustenance) and how we conduct ourselves sexually (or creatively) be related???
compassionate will be our view. But its important that we have truths, otherwise the knowledge is ill based."

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