Counting the Omer – Day 24
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 twenty-four which is three weeks and three days of the Omer. Hayom yom esrim ve arba she hem shlosha shavuot ve shlosha yammim laOmer.
Today is Tiferet be Netzakh, beauty within power, grace within victory.
Being a gracious winner is no easy task. That unselfish focus on others, the one where I congratulate them if they win, with no resentment, and feel compassion for them when they lose, with no false pride or gloating – that is a skill I can work on. It’s not a skill that comes easily to me, nor I suspect to most. Mostly, we think about ourselves. When we lose, we think, “drat, what could have happened? I must be off my game! I need more practice.” or even worse, “the sun was in my eyes” or “she cheated!” When we win, we think, “good, I did it; I’m the best, and I rock!’ In some ways, there’s a lot of good to this too – the alternative of not caring at all who wins or loses has its own issues, in which people stop trying, stop feeling any real pride in success, stop appreciating a hard won victory. That robs the victory of its glory just as much. No, it’s an almost global awareness that one needs to have, the godly one where both the cat and the sparrow are seen, treated with compassion, and appreciated. Then, a person could feel pride in her victory, while at the same time, feeling compassion for those that didn’t win. Now, that sounds beautiful to me.
Today, we win further victories by celebrating those we have graciously and with compassion.