Monthly Archives: April 2017

Omer 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.

You know what’s really beautiful? Relationships. The connection between people is one of the strongest – the reason God made the world, in some ways. It makes everything better when people form a relationship between two people. Sometimes, though, for no fault of their own, the strong, beautiful relationship still ends. At first, there’s a lot of phantom ache – like checking the place where the tooth used to be with your tongue – around this person. Gradually, limits get set in place, distance created and new different relationships are formed. Meanwhile, however, this one has ended. Recognizing and accepting that is a good step towards building a new relationship.

Today, I will cherish the beautiful relationships I have and ask God for the strength to let go of the ones that are ending.

Omer 15

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 fifteen which is two weeks and one day of the Omer. Hayom yom hamesh-es’re she hem shtey shavuot ve yom ehad laOmer.

Today is Khesed be Tiferet, compassion within loveliness, kindness within beauty.

There are those of you who are naturally beautiful. Those who are graceful from birth. Those that seem to simply float through the earth on magnificent earlobes and perfect eyelashes. There are those of you who find beauty easy. Please remember to be kind. I, likewise, will try to remember to be kind if you are not bright. I know I can be pretty obnoxious to people who don’t have my intelligence – but I will try if you will. Remember, it doesn’t always come automatically for all of us. Sometimes we don’t notice something we should or succeed at something we’ve attempted. It stinks! But for me, it stinks less if you can be kind when I mess things up. You are beautiful – and that means you need to be responsible for the feeling that you engender with your words and actions.

Today, I will be kind in areas where I am strong.

Omer 14

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 fourteen which is two weeks of the Omer. Hayom yom arba-es’re she hem shtey shavuot laOmer.

Today is Malkhut be Gevura, majesty within strength, nobility within might.

Oh, no, I don’t think so. I don’t feel strong or majestic. I feel old and worn paper-thin. I feel crumpled. I feel done like dinner. And still, I am trying to do the next thing because the next thing needs to be done. It may not be very majestic but that’s about all I have, strength wise. I’m going to keep trying to do all the little things I need to get done between today and tomorrow, be that prep or marking, writing or organization. I am going to prioritise doing daily tasks because those are the ones that can so easily get lost (I hope one day I can actually have a habit of getting things done. It will keep stuff like this from happening, maybe.)

How is this majestic? Where is the nobility? I don’t know – maybe kings and queens get tired and worn out and sit there with bleary eyes trying to read one more report on the state of the country’s budget and another set of opinion pols. Maybe it’s not the godliness of majesty within strength that I should look at – maybe it’s the humanity. Because no matter how tired they are, kings and queens have to keep going. They can’t say “I think I won’t be king or queen tomorrow.” Be they good rulers or bad, capable or otherwise, they still have to be there the next day.

I can’t project majesty and win in the whole acting nobly thing – but I can do the next task whatever that may be. That’s the kind of “nobility” I can manage – I will be there the next day.

Today, I reach deep into my reserves of strength, and I do just one more right thing – and one more. That has some nobility to it after all.

 

Omer 13

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 thirteen which is one week and six days of the Omer. Hayom yom shlosh-es’re she hem shavua ehad ve shisha yamim laOmer.

Today is Yesod be Gevura, privacy within strength, intimacy within might.

Today, I respect those for whom privacy is the aspect of Yesod (sod means secret) that matters, but I acknowledge for me, intimacy is the side that I turn to. The two are very connected, of course – we are private about our most intimate moments, but it’s a question of where we draw our strength. I get my strength from close times spent together with people I love. That’s my Yesod be Gevura. It can be one person or 20, so long as they are people that I’m interacting with in a positive and sharing manner. I know there are those for whom their strength is privacy – separation from others, possibly all others. That’s a solid alternative. Most of us probably like a bit of both. So, we acknowledge that we have strength that comes from Yesod, however we chose to experience it.

Today, may both intimate and private moments contribute to making you feel strong.

Omer 12

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 twelve which is one week and five days of the Omer. Hayom yom shtem-es’re she hem shavua ehad ve hamisha yamim laOmer.

Today is Hod be Gevura, gratitude within strength, humility within might.

This is the moment when I realize how ridiculous my pride in my basic traits is. I am not intelligent because I did something. It is a gift I was born with. I can be proud of what I do with my intelligence – but having it? The best I can do is enjoy it and feel grateful. Sometimes, I get caught up in all the ways that the universe has been unfair to me. I have this issue and that and I have that problem and this and all these things make so much more difficult for me. I just need to remember that it’s that same universe that gave me all those positives too – I have a lot of strength, I have many capabilities, there is so much that others cannot do with ease that I can – look, I write this stuff as a hobby! Today, I remember my abilities and feel grateful for the gifts I’ve been given.

Today, we stop looking at our shortcomings, and focus on our strengths – with gratitude!

Omer 11

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 eleven which is one week and four days of the Omer. Hayom yom ahad-es’re she hem shavua ehad ve arbaa yamim laOmer.

Today is Netzakh be Gevura, victory within strength, power within might.

(Sleep within night-time?) I am very intelligent (also, modest, pretty, and…) This is my strength. I can explain complicated concepts, still learn new things pretty quickly, manage technology reasonably, and read advanced literature (although I prefer trashy fantasy – we all have our vices.) So, whenever there’s a competition in this area, I win. It makes me a bit of a snob, intellectually speaking, however. I am happy to point out your mistakes in grammar and spelling, and to explain to you why you’re wrong, I’m right and you might as well like it. The only problem is, you usually don’t like it. By being intellectually superior, I alienate people and hurt them, make them feel small and deny their strengths – that’s a pretty stupid way to behave, and can leave me lonely. When I can see other’s strengths enough to have compassion with their weakness enough to help them overcome it, when I can hold my tongue about how right I am – when I have something that I can learn from you, that’s power within strength. That way, I can use my strong point; my intelligence to achieve real victory.

Today, let my power be the ability to perceive the strengths of others.

Omer 10

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 ten which is one week and three days of the Omer. Hayom yom eser she hem shavua ehad vey shlosha yamim laOmer.

Today is Tiferet be Gevura, beauty within might, grace within power

So, this is stolen from my son and paraphrased. For a twelve year old, he says cool stuff:

“I love all the seasons. They are all lovely. In the fall, God is in the leaves, like the bush that burned and never went out. There is so much of everything. In the winter, everything is crisp and white and sparkly. There are fun things to do and everything is very beautiful and clean. Spring has flowers and birdies and animals coming back and baby animals being born. God is bringing everything to life. Summer still has the flowers, but also the freedom to really enjoy the outdoors, and the sun is where the fire is. God is in the sun, as it shines down on everything and lets us have a good time.” Today, we recognize that the weather, the seasons – that God is very mighty and strong, but that this strength is expressed through beauty.

Today, if I am called on to be strong, may I do it with beauty.

Omer 9

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 nine which is one week and two days of the Omer. Hayom yom tesha she hem shavua ehad vey shtey yamim laOmer.

Today is Gevura be Gevura, strength within strength, might within might.

Today I think about making a decision. Because I think it’s important that we make them and that we make the right one, but even the wrong one is better than none. It changes the way I see the world completely. I always think of the poem by Robert Frost with “two paths diverged in the wood and I…” and I think, the change comes the moment I step on the other path. I mean, I’m still in the same place. Nothing has changed. Nothing has happened – but yet, as soon as I make that decision, everything is different. I’m on another path. This new path, this new decision, gives me strength I didn’t know I had. I don’t even need to speak it. Just knowing I’ve made it makes me powerful enough to do things in a different way – gives me strength within the strength that is visible.

Today, I make decisions about my future. Making decisions will give me strength.

Omer 8

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 eight which is one week and one day of the Omer. Hayom yom shmone she hem shavua ehad vey om ehad laOmer.

Today is Khesed be Gevurah, kindness within strength, generosity within might.

It’s easier to be strong when one is kind, actually. I am stronger when I give a gift, when I put my own needs and desires to one side to care for others. This isn’t a mealy-mouthed, weak pathetic sort of “I’ll do what you ask because I know it’ll make you happy” kindness. This is a mighty “I have so much that I have extra and I can share that extra with you” kindness. This feels good. And sometimes, I just have to see things a different way and I have enough. I, in fact, have too much. I have so much that I can be kind, share. I guess it’s easier to be kind when one is strong too. Looks like strength and kindness play well together, so long as it’s the right kind of kindness and the right kind of strength, those based in each other and extending outward from that foundation.

Today, I laugh because it feels so good to have so much, that I have more to give away. I am joyfully kind, from strength.

Omer 7

 

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 seven which is one week of the Omer. Hayom yom shev’I she hem shavua ehad laOmer.

Today is Malkhut be Khesed, majesty within love, dignity within kindness

Oh, I’m tired today. And sad and lonely. Some days, I just can’t. But I have to. I have to be polite to people and do the next thing and make the world a better place. I have dependents and responsibilities. It’s hard to be kind – to not snap, to not come up with that amazing mega-sarcastic comeback, to not lash out. My mind plays the blame game a lot. It’s hard not to succumb to self-pity, and proclaim that the world stinks and there’s nothing I can do about it. But if I succumb, that’s selfish, and countless spiritual people have helped me to see that I shouldn’t indulge selfishness. That would be true majesty – to be kind and loving despite feeling like crap.

Today, I pray that my kindness comes from within, no matter what I am feeling.