37th Day of the Omer (Thursday, 6 May)
Week of Yesod, Second Day
Major sefirah: Yesod/Foundation; minor sefirah: Gevurah/Strength
How does an ordinary person like me become a tzaddik? Like in any other endeavor, it takes practice. But unlike other endeavors you can’t choose when to practice! It’s like being at sea in a small boat. It’s smooth sailing, but all it takes is one big wave and you’re sunk, God forbid!
So my motto is, “Be prepared!” I try to anticipate where temptations might arise. I avoid those places like the plague! I study myself and try to note when I’m likely to let my guard down. So when I see that I’m getting over-tired or that my curiosity starts to take me far afield, I muster up the strength of self-control to maintain the yesod/foundation.
I also know where I can pick up tzaddik-strength—by a tzaddik! I know I don’t deserve to stand in Moshe Rabbeinu’s presence, and I feel tremendous shame when I do. But the impact that that shame and awe make on me give me strength to resist what needs resisting.
When I daven (pray) the Shemonah Esrei blessing Re’ei (See #7), I will ask God to forgive me for delaying the Redemption by failing to act with self-control, even in regard to what Im allowed to do.