Kafka: Foran Loven -  hypertekstualiseret af Elias Ole Tetens Lund

Gevura ve Chesed

From the Ramak [Rabbi Moshe Cordovero of Sefat/Safed]

We therefore ascribe the color red to the place of judgment (gevura), Furthermore, everything that is red is derived from the power of this root...Likewise, the color white indicates kindness and peace (chesed)...

(Pardes Rimonim, Shaar Mahut Ve'hanaga)


Today, the path to honoring one's parents, for many, is a long one, filled with significant internal obstacles. Many people have first to work through their anger and grief, in relationship to their upbringing, before this commandment of the Torah can be integrated and lived in its fullest expression. In order to honor one's parents one needs to have attained equanimity (hishtavut) regarding one's past hurts and losses. When we can healthily detach from the ego and operate from a perspective of soul then honoring one's parents, even if they are largely the same people who hurt us, is nevertheless possible and even a liberating act. To love is to give, to be mature is to love. In original cultures the transition from childhood to adulthood has always been related to marriage, the quintessential forum for love. Likewise, with our parents, the transition of our role, from that of primarily being receivers, to that of primarily being givers is a significant stage in life. To love your parents is to honor them. The parent-child relationship is unequal. In its first phase, the parents give to the child; in its later stage the child gives to the parents. In the middle of this process there can be an exchange, but it is never between equals. In the absence of this equality, love expresses itself partially as honor.
The Arizal's fundamental insight is that honoring one's parents is related to the development of one's spirituality. To honor one's parents is, in essence, to recognize them, and this acknowledgment facilitates for them the potential expansion of their soul. Honoring a person for who they are allows more of who they are to come through. The Arizal is emphasizing that by offering this sincere honor we expand our own soul, via the garment they have bequeathed us, and is still connected to them. Thus we receive through our giving even more than they do through their receiving.