Category Archives: Nissan

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, dominion within might.

Malkhut is majesty, kingship, dominion. It is also our connection to the physical. So, when it is found within strength – it reminds me of my environment, of nature in all its varagies and weathers. Malkhut be Gevura is the strength of a small green plant growing more stable and beautiful, it is the majesty of an ice storm blasting through the street.  It is the wonder of the way night follows day and day follows night and recognising the dominion of God within the world as the world continues to show its strength in achingly beautiful majestic ways. The physical – from the workings of my body to the workings of the world – is sometimes small and gross and full of mud and slobber and burps and the need for a long hot shower.  But it is also finely fashioned, full of surprising majesty, amazing, strong.

Today, I recognize the majesty of my surroundings. I am stronger when I connect to all that is around me.

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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, sexuality within strength, intimacy within might.

It is actually easier to build a relationship on weakness than on strength, in my opinion. When one is weak, one can ask for and accept help – and that builds bonds. When one is strong, one doesn’t need the other person. Sure, it’s fun to hang together, but really, so what? There’s a lot to do. Who has time just to hang together – to have fun?  So, we don’t give relationships their due when we’re strong. The day’s task – to use our strengths to build relationships – reminds us that our priorities are skewed when we don’t. We are supposed to find intimacy within that strength we have, to make that time, and to build that connection, even it it means being weak sometimes.

Today, I build my relationships with all of me, strengths as well as weaknesses.

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.

I have a lot of strengths. I’m bright, funny, interesting. I can write. I can teach. I can plan. Sometimes, I worry too much – about being pretty, about being clumsy, about being slow. I focus on weakness and get whiny. Sometimes, I go the other way. I start thinking I’m pretty special, and get all proud of myself for stuff I had no control over. Neither of those are what today is about. Today is a day when I recognise my strengths, with full awareness of limitations also, and I recognize that these strengths were something God gave me to use as well as I can. When I’m grateful for my stengths, I find myself in good connection with the world.

Today, I am grateful for the strengths I have and the knowledge that I have them as a gift to help me achieve more in the world.

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, conquest within strength, power within limits.

Today I think of a bible winner – and so I think of Jochebed, who actually managed to raise 2 prophets and one high priest. Now, that’s parenting skill! She had to be strong. Her kids were prophets – it’s bad enough raising super-intelligent kids who often tell you you don’t know enough to tell them anything. Can you imagine raising prophets? “Mom, God told me I didn’t have to go to bed at bedtime but could stay up for as long as I wanted!” She probably did a good job, through since her three kids turned out OK. Parenting is victory within limits to so many degrees! And with those 3 kids? I suspect Jochebed had to be a very strong, tough but very loving to her children – because her kids were a victory.

Today, I hope to raise a bunch of kids who are beautiful, ambitious, disciplined, creative, intelligent, sensible and friendly (also can fly and spin straw into gold.) Whether I succeed or not. Taking care of kids definitely requires strength.

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.

Sometimes, the strength within strength is the going on. Sometimes, I don’t make it. I lose the crucial piece of paper, I miss the phone call, and I do a poor job on the assignment. At this point, it is easy for me to get despondent and overwhelmed. “I can’t do it – I might as well give up” I say. It is then that I reach for Strength within Strength. I work to find a way to do it – or I just tiredly and slightly hopelessly do it again. I get help. I research alternatives. I yell at people who are in my way. I do it badly, and accept that this will have to do for the time being. I practice. I do lots of different things all at once. Sometimes, there’s no change, and it all seems futile – and other times I get the task done. That impossible, overwhelming task becomes history and accomplished and gone. That gritted-teeth continuing to try – that feels strong to me.

Today, I keep going, knowing I am strong even if I don’t feel so at the moment.

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 strength, glory within might.

There’s that feeling, the one I get when I put in the last test mark or when I finish running a particularly exciting lesson. There’s the click. I love the click – that feeling that I did it right, that this is what God expects me to do and here I am doing it. Maybe it’s when you finish a painting – or submit an essay, or win a trial or get that grant or answer the question or put away the last dish or have the kid finally use the potty. It’s a rare thing, and mostly it doesn’t happen. Mostly there’s nothing of the sort. But sometimes, some precious wonderful times – there’s the click. To me there’s nothing more beautiful. I am willing to tap into my strength, to really push myself, to go beyond – all for that moment of perfect alignment when everything is beautiful because it is exactly where it should be.

Today, I notice the beauty of a hard task well done.

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.

Today I am strong enough to do what I have to. I can accomplish my goals, just by listing them one by one and then by getting them done. I know I can do this – sure, there will be things I’m behind on, but little by little, my goals are indeed going to get done. However, within that strength I can remember all the times that I didn’t make a deadline, that I didn’t do what I was supposed to, that I actually didn’t meet my goals at all. As I remember, I realize that I can be kind to those that don’t have my strengths – that I can accept them doing the best they can even if they are far from meeting the standards I or even they have.

Today, I meet my goals with strength but I am kind to those who, right now, can’t or don’t.

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 kindness, dominion within grace.

Today, I think of Avinu, Malkeynu (our father our king) where we ask for kindness from God, specifically because God has majesty, has the power to rule over us. We pick those terms, becauseif someone has no power, they can’t really be kind – they can’t help us, they can’t stop badness, they can’t give us anything. Even to be a listener and an emotional support (which is what God is for many of us) requires some power – the power to create a still space into which needs expressed can be placed. Yes, dominion can be used to control and to harm – but it can also be used to lead, to heal, to guide. I realize I have that power too – I have authority as a parent and as a teacher. It is my job to use it with wisdom and love and to do what I can to be the kind ruler and parent that I want God to be.

Today, I look for ways to recognize my authority and to use it to care rather than control.

Omer 6

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 six of the Omer. Hayom yom shishi laOmer.

Today is Yesod be Khesed, connection within love, family within generosity.

Today I worry about connections. More and more I realize that connection is time, given correctly and lovingly and politely. More and more I realize that I’m not very good at that. I get caught up in my own work, and forget that there are texts to write, emails to reply to, family and friends to call, promises to others to keep, polite invitations for time spent to make, chores to help with, games and books to suggest, and all the other ways I could be connecting. Sometimes the sheer weight of the connections I should be making gets overwhelming. I know that I can do more than I’m doing now – and that this is important.

Today, I try to connect to others, through kindness and consideration. I will prioritise family.

Omer 5

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 five of the Omer. Hayom yom hamishi laOmer.

Today is Hod be Khesed, gratitude within love, acceptance within kindness.

Today, I thank the difficult people. It’s Hod be Khesed after all, and a bit of challenge is good for us. So, today, I thank the person who cut in front of me in line, and the lady who criticized the way I was doing something and the guy who yelled at me when I bumped into him, and every student who decided not to hand something in (“because I was at an *important* place in my video game, miss! I couldn’t stop!”) and all the other wonderful people who drive me bonkers. I am grateful to them for reminding me about kindness, and how that’s my responsibility no matter what, for teaching me patience or perseverance, for engaging with me in some fashion. These are all good things.

Today, I am grateful for challenges in kindness. I can grow as a person and be kinder if I practice gratitude.