There are so many ways to be present for someone, and different situations require us to show up in a wide variety of ways. When going to a shiva house, for example, the best way of giving is to sit silently and listen. This is very much gevurah of chesed. On the other hand, grabbing the bride or groom for a dance at the wedding may be the best way to give -- and this is more of chesed of chesed. Both constitute jumping into other people's lives, but in distinct ways.
Tiferet implies a combination of chesed and gevurah. Tiferet of chesed involves sensitivity to what is needed in a situation coupled with a clear capacity to act once it is figured out. It requires a complete willingness to be in contact with others coupled with flexibility as to what will be offered during the encounter. The person at the shiva minyan might want to talk it up; maybe the bride and groom ned a moment of quiet. Tiferet of chesed jumps into the moment and listens for the next command, prepared to provide whatever is needed.
Practice: Make contact with someone and be prepared to push the interaction in a certain direction if necessary or to let it go its own way if appropriate. Try to understand how you approach the decision of what to do in that situation. Notice whether you leave enough space for the conversation or relationship to develop, or whether you quickly fill it with your own agenda and assumptions.
This is a reflection on the third day of the Omer. Join the conversation by visiting the Omer liveblog on HuffPost Religion, which features blogs, prayers, art and reflections for all 49 days of spiritual reflection between Passover and Shavuot.
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