Counting the Omer – Day 17
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 seventeen which is two weeks and three days of the Omer. Hayom yom sheva-es’re she hem shtey shavuot ve shlosha yammim laOmer.
Today is Tiferet be Tiferet, beauty within beauty, grace within grace.
‘Ogres are like onions’ says a line from one of my favourite movies. ‘Ogres have layers.’ In the movie, under the princess exterior was an ogre appearance, and under the ogre appearance was a strong, fun, pushy person, and under the strong, fun, pushy person was someone really lonely and under the loneliness was someone kind and caring, and so on…Today, I look at people, and sometimes, I see onions. (No, not literally! That would not be beautiful! Humph! How do I find all these people?) There’s that outer appearance level, and the naked level underneath. There’s the outward presentation we show others (How are you doing today? Fine, just fine.) and the irritation we’re hiding underneath. There’s the friendliness we can sustain because someone needs us and the pain we have when we’re finally allowed to acknowledge it, and under that, the caring that let us sustain that friendliness, and under that, the loneliness that led to the pain, and under that…Again, I find myself in the truth=beauty equation, as I look for the loveliness within the person, the beauty of those hidden layers. Sometimes, that’s hard, because many of our in-between layers are downright ugly. That’s where we keep that murderous rage that it’s not OK to show openly, that’s where we keep the whiney jealousy, the self-indulgent sloth, the intense greediness – it’s all there. (OK, maybe not for you – but for me, peel back the calm layers, and what’s underneath is less calm.) It’s the layer under that which is the goal though, the layer at the very core – and that layer, that layer is God and Love and Beauty and Truth. In all of us, that layer is very, very beautiful.
Today, we take a deep breath and show the beauty we have hidden at the core of our many layers.