Monthly Archives: April 2019

Omer Count: Day 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 hu shavua ehad laOmer.

Today is Malkhut be Khesed, majesty within kindness, dominion within grace.

Today, I think about the different ways to be a teacher. A teacher is a ruler – you must maintain the discipline of the classroom, ensure students learn, etc. Of course, I feel kindness is much more the operative trait of a teacher – someone who treats students with care. There are many different kinds of teachers. There are some who don’t want to be there – who are teaching for money, or because they don’t feel comfortable with peers and prefer to be with those younger, or because they don’t believe they can do anything else. I feel nothing but pity and contempt for them. I wish they would find an occupation that didn’t impact others as much in which to hide their challenges and imperfections.

Some teachers do an excellent job but set very clear boundaries. They are firm, supportive but professional with their students, they present the material in a competent way and they interact with peers with an appropriate, friendly but not overly familial manner. I respect and admire people like this a great deal. They are probably the goal type of teacher, and they are reasonably well liked and respected in school. I myself am far from that type of teacher, however. I’m not detached enough, organized enough, or disciplined enough to pull that off.

There are also those who throw themselves into teaching as one dives from a diving board, with all their might and skill, power and strength. They seem to always be available for help, know how the kids are doing in all of their classes and worry about it, come up with extra activities. They are 100% teachers every moment of every day of their lives. Their students don’t like or respect them – they love them (or they hate them – not every relationship is perfect). Their power exists within a framework of love and they are the ones with the true majesty, for they have the ability to change students’ lives and futures. This is the kind of teacher I strive to be. I don’t always succeed – sometimes I’m too tired or overwhelmed to care or bother – but I try.

Today, I aim to use the power and dominion of my role as a teacher within a framework of kindness and love.

Omer Count: Day 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, grace within might.

Today I am kind to myself. I recognize that I have strengths. I am a good writer, a committed Jewish person, a friend and parent, a teacher, a member of a large, fun family – and I do well in many of these areas. I have challenges too, though. It takes me forever to get tasks done – note that I’m just starting on this one, for example, and it’s one week late! I stress a lot about this. I should be better. I should do things on time, keep up with what needs to happen, manage my tasks – why don’t I do more? Why do I need to spend so much time on to-do lists, take all these breaks and so on? It doesn’t matter much though because I do need that time. As such, I might as well be kind to myself and say, “hey, good, you got one thing done, and that’s great, and it took you what it took you.” When I do so, I think I’m actually stronger and can get a lot more done than otherwise.

Today, I accept where I am and I do my best to use my strengths, with kindness and grace.

Travel Blog 8

I was off again. Starting from that disastrous off-turn that I made onto a railroad track, I was sure this time would be different. I was going to follow that trail, so help me, and not veer off. It would be fun! This was still back in September and there were surprising gifts of late flowers along the way. You know, no matter what, these hikes – be they short city hikes, long ambles through country roads, windy trails or anything else, really – have been a sheer delight.

Resisting all temptation to follow the little trail, I walked along to the big road instead. Sigh. See, here we are. The big road. But at least there’s the sign telling me I’m going in the right direction. That’s good!

The road was indeed just as boring as I thought it would be. Until, that is – I looked up! Would you look at that sky? Gorgeous, right?

Before long, however, I found myself walking near some very beautiful places – and familiar ones. I had made it to Hamilton! Truly, there’s beauty in very little things – both people made – like this RBG flower bed and natural like these fall flowers at the side of the road.

Here’s the railroad I found myself walking on that other time. It looks much better from above – in fact the whole view is panoramic and not at all awful. Then down the stairs to the hike under the bridge – I’ve actually hiked this bit before but never officially like this. It was pretty cool. Hamilton hikes are gorgeous, I must say.

The trail under the bridge is lovely – full of little tiny picturesque moments. Are you getting a twisty trail feeling? I always do. And of course – it’s nice to know you’re going in the right direction!

The fall coulours do a lot to accentuate the beauty of the day, but then – argh! I’m back on the street again. It’s a pretty street, but it’s still a street.

But wait – is that a park with woods right to the side? So much for sticking firmly to the trail this time. (I still used google, but did go a bit off trail.)

It was so pretty though! I found myself in the woods and as everyone knows, I totally adore the woods! Whether the tiny mushrooms in the various tree stumps or the sky peering through the tops of the trees, there is nothing about a wooded path I don’t like. I know these are tamed and groomed and manicured woods compared to the real thing – but for a few glorious moments, I let myself forget and enjoy the beauty.

All good things must come to an end and this hike did too. I finally came out of the hike to a very nice grassy area which was also conveniently close to where I was going. Double win.

About 4 more km walked brings us to 28 km and completes the Burlington-Hamilton journey. Onward, ho!

Trip 8 Blog