Day Two: Gevurah of Chesed
Chesed, the trait of the week is love. Today the aspect of love we consider is gevurah, which is “strength,” but also understood as judgment, restriction, discipline. In the creation of the world the expansive force of chesed, love, needed to be balanced, restrained, by gevurah.
The Talmud teaches “love without rebuke is not love.” Sometimes love needs to be tempered or strengthened with discipline. Loving your children often means setting boundaries. Sometimes love calls on us to say things that might be difficult to say. How does “strength” play into our love? Are we strong enough to say things to those we love that may be difficult to say or difficult to hear, if they are in fact things that need to be said? On the other hand, are we strong enough to refrain from saying things that would not be helpful? The Talmud also teaches that we only rebuke someone when we believe they will listen, they will be able to recognize and accept “constructive criticism.”