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Can you explain the sefirah of Tiferet?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus


Library » Chassidism » Chassidic Concepts | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Tiferet literally means beauty. As one of the sefirot it refers to harmony and blending, just as beauty is brought about through blending colors. A canvass filled with one color cannot be called beautiful (though it can be called modern). A symphony in which every musician is playing the same instrument and the same note does not created beautiful music. Beauty comes about through blending diverse elements.

The two sefirot that immediately precede Tiferet are Chessed and Gevurah—Kindness and Severity, or Giving and Discipline.

A Chessed type teacher is very nice to the students but his class lacks discipline. A Gevurah teacher is good with the discipline part but is not good at the “pat the student on the back” part.

The Tiferet teacher is capable of blending the two attributes, and acting with each student appropriate to his or her needs.

Tiferet is associated with mercy. When Chessed says “Give” and Gevurah says “He doesn’t deserve it,” Tiferet mixes in and says “Yes, Gevurah, he doesn’t deserve it—but have some mercy. Look at the situation from his perspective. Give him one more chance.”

So Tiferet is a mixture of both but with a bias toward Chessed.

TAGS: Tiferet, tiferes


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