48th Day (Monday, 17 May)

Week of Malkhut, Sixth Day

Major sefirah: Malkhut/Royalty-Kingship; minor sefirah: Yesod/Foundation

When it comes to crimes against the government not all misbehavior is the same. There are misdemeanors and there are felonies. But most kings and kingdoms, the smart ones, realize that their subjects will make mistakes: give in to temptation, scoff at certain laws, etc. Although every lapse indicates a buried disregard for the majesty of the king—which should always be severely censured—those which are relatively insignificant can be dealt with a relatively minor penalty. Concessions to human nature have to be made.

Even though more serious crimes (felonies) have to be dealt with more severely—after all, being too lenient leads to entropy which causes the whole enterprise to fall apart—a wise government accommodates its citizens’ frailties and attempts to balance the punishment with the crime. Of course all of the above applies only as long as the crimes are not flagrantly committed.

But some crimes, no matter how large the temptation, are always treasonous. They strike at the base of the kingdom. Not only do they impugn the king’s honor, they invite people to forge new allegiances that will take them further and further away from obeying their king. Such a crime I never want to commit!

A “peaceful kingdom” at home, with spouse and children, is the foundation of a peaceful for God. The time and effort invested in trying to build such a home is a very important (and too often neglected) part of serving Hashem (God).

When I daven (pray) the Shemonah Esrei blessing Sim Shalom (Place peace #19) I will try to make amends for persisting in being argumentative for no good reason, which causes so much pain to the Shekhinah.

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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