Chasidut teaches us that two basic guidelines affect our course in life: The first lies in our gifts - the special qualities that distinguish each of us from the other. The second is the constellation of events around us, over which we have no control. The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidut, teaches us that these are divinely ordained to provide us with the optimal stage upon which to express our life's role. But we fight these events. We seek to control them through our limited wisdom, although we may in fact be doing ourselves a grave disservice.

It is more life-enhancing for us to submit our will…in humble acceptance of opportunities as they arise….

By fighting our seeming adversities, the cosmic process of rebalancing invariable results in the rise of even more pressing circumstances that are in truth a corrective mechanism of the Creator. And then war erupts on another front - until we learn the lesson of acceptance. It is more life-enhancing for us to submit our will, not with passive resignation, but in humble acceptance of opportunities as they arise.

The sefira of hod molds meaningful acceptance. Hod opens us up to the opportunity that adversity provides. It is not to be equated with passivity.

Do we really know what is around the corner? Can we really decide in advance whether an occurrence is going to bring benefit or cause harm? Our only realistic alternative is to remain curious and open, to accept the moment as it arises and follow its development. Adopting a stance of natural curiosity and visualizing a positive outcome raises our tolerance for discomfort. The basis of hod allows the creation of a neutral and accepting stance and the manifestation of a more positive disposition.

To surrender to life's exigencies does not mean that one meekly turns the other cheek. On the contrary, it means that we engage in life fully, that we ride the rhythms of life and sing to the cosmic winds. Choosing our battles carefully enables us to see the forest as well as the trees. We become open to the signposts that direct our own tentative steps.

The secret of the sefira of hod lies in acceptance. It takes a heartfelt thank-you and surrender to the Other to activate submission to the greater wisdom of the Creator.

It also takes courage.

[From "Practical Kabbala" Published by Three River Press.]