Counting the Omer – Day 16
Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sfirat ha-omer.
Blessed are You, Adonay our God, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with mitzvot and gives us this opportunity to count the Omer.
Today is day sixteen which is two weeks and two days of the Omer. Hayom yom shesh-es’re she hem shtey shavuot ve shtey yammim laOmer.
Today is Gevura be Tiferet, limits within beauty, strength within grace.
I’m not a makeup kind of person. It’s the first thing I thought of when I wrote the title – I don’t like and don’t do makeup and that’s one of my limits within beauty. People have limits to what they will do for appearance. Sometimes, those limits are ability induced (there are those of us for whom it makes no sense financially or time wise to keep up with the latest fashions,) sometimes style based (I know plenty of women who should *not* wear skirts as it would look dreadful on them,) and sometimes personal preference based (weird it may be, but I don’t like green.) Often, we are told to overcome our limits – to use strength to learn how to use makeup, to get creative with our fashion finances, to find just the right skirt, to get over colour dislikes. Sometimes, that’s the strength we need. Other times, we need to answer, “no thank you, I like my appearance as is.” How do I know how to find the balance? I look at the reason for my answer. Am I staying with no makeup out of weakness – it’s too much work, it’s too much money, it’s too much time – while I’d really like to use it? Or am I staying with ‘no makeup’ out of strength – it’s not the way I want to spend my time and money and effort and I like my appearance just fine without it? Because one of the deeper understandings of Tiferet is truth – the underlying notion that what is true is inherently beautiful.
Today, we decide on our appearance from a position of strength, not weakness.