Q & A

March 12, 2012

Don’t We Have All of the Middot/Qualities?

A New Question: What Happens When we Remove Part of Your Brain?

One of the questions that is asked to me most frequently is: do we really only have only 3 or the 7 possible qualities that make up our personality? Don’t we have all of the traits?


In a now-famous case, a man had the part of his brain removed that controlled Continue Reading »

August 31, 2011

What am I?

“I’m having a hard time figuring out my personality and some of the personalities of my grown children,  can you help me; please”

Sent from my (blotted out) Wireless (stop advertising here with your doohickey)

Two thoughts come to mind. My initial, more technical answer would be that you and/or your children may have the chesed personality. This means that you may not have any quality that is overbearing in your personality, and you should possibly look to your secondary middah and/or mold your chesed middah to get trained in a field of your choosing, (I elaborate on this advice in a previous post). However, I think a more general, all encompassing answer is really in order.

When trying to figure out someone’s middot/qualities/personality, you must really observe them carefully, and avoid making some very common mistakes. You cannot select one small quality from someone’s personality and extrapolate it to be more than it really is. You must really observe his or her mannerisms and tendencies; you must look more deeply, beyond just initial observations or actions that one, for example, would check off on a checklist of technical inquiries, if one were to be doing research (I hope to explore this later; this is is a major difference between the two upper sefirot of chochma and binah, between analytical/gathering factual information and intuitive sensing/seeing beyond the facts). To ascertain someone’s true personality may take time and thoughtful inspection.

I recall describing the yesod personality in great detail to a mother of six and I mentioned that yesods think very much “out of the box”. The mother immediately pointed to her oldest daughter and said, “Oh, (blank) is very muck like that.” The daughter was a later chesed (defined here) who, yes, did have some nice thoughts of her own, but no where near the big, often revolutionary thoughts of a yesod-type.

There is nothing inherently wrong with not having the yesod middah, and one is not “only” a later chesed – each personality has equal positive and negative aspects. However, it is important to be accurate as to which middah one possesses; it makes a very big negative impact if one is mis-typed, similar to the detrimental impact young boys and girls receive when they are told that there IQ is very high or very low. It just doesn’t help.

To respond to you directly, it may take time and a careful reading of The Seven Ways to guide you to your or your children’s true middot.

May you find the answer soon and use your respective insights to fund happiness and growth.