The middah of כבד (Kavod) Honoring, Appreciating Beauty.
“To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” – Walt Whitman
Here is the greatness of the Holy Blessing One. Man mints many coins with one stamp, all of them the same as one another.
When God minted every person with the stamp of Adam not one of them turned out the same. For this reason every single person must say “The world was created for me.” -Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 37B
There is great beauty in noticing the universal, and there is great beauty in noticing the unique. Beauty is more than just an aesthetically pleasing quality. It requires a level of attention, appreciation, and wonder on the part of the person perceiving the beauty. Pirkei Avot asks, “Who is honored (mehubad)? The one who honors all life.”
This is how Ferris Bueller put it: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” We have this wonderful opportunity to experience this extraordinary life. Let us cultivate the middah of noticing the beauty of the ordinary and the unique around us.
מחשבה/Machshava (Think about it):
Each day of the week, consider a different person or a place or object that inspires you. Spend a few minutes thinking about what makes this person, object, or place so special. What are the unique qualities you find? Consider this person’s, this object’s, or this place’s connection to others. How vast a web of connection can you find?
מעשה/Ma’aseh (Try it): At least once each day take some time explore the extraordinary within the ordinary.
– We can do this visually. Find objects that are red, or blue or green. Consider objects organized in a specific number, such as 3. “There are three parked cars.” “There are three people standing together.” There are three dogs on leashes together.”
– Again, notice what they all have in common as well as what is unique about each.
– Do something unique this week. Find an occasion to the say Shechiyanu blessing:
Praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of all:
for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this season.