I read a delightful article today entitled “My Daughter’s Ten Bicycles,” in which a Jewish man considers the 10 dimensions in which he bought his daughter a single bicycle. A lovely read, it is based on a 500-year-old description of the universe as a manifestation of the Creator’s 10 attributes:
- Chochmah (wisdom)
- Binah (understanding)
- Daat (knowledge)
- Chessed (love)
- Gevurah (might, restraint)
- Tiferet (harmony)
- Netzach (victory, ambition)
- Hod (splendor, devotion)
- Yesod (foundation, bonding)
- Malchut (sovereignty, receptiveness)
The author considers his purchase of a bike for his little girl through each of these 10 dimensions. My favorite one is the one related to Yesod:
In the sphere of Yesod, it was an act of bonding. The event became an integral part of our relationship. From this point on and to all eternity, this act will be part and parcel of what makes me her father and makes her my daughter.
That reminds me of my dad teaching me to ride my bike. I remember him telling me he was holding on to the back of the seat while he ran behind me, but at some point he stopped holding it, and I kept going, powered by my own momentum. I remember very little of my childhood, but I can recall that moment, when I realized he had let go and was just running behind me as a show of support (and to show me I didn’t need his support to power myself through the air). I did the same thing with my daughter, as I’m sure all parents do.