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Omer 41

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 forty one, which is five weeks and six days of the Omer. Hayom yom arbaim v’ehad she hem hamisha shavuot ve shisha yamim laOmer.

Today is Yesod be Yesod, intimacy within intimacy, foundation within community.

Today, I think about building friendships. Sometimes, it’s so easy – the other person says something funny, I laugh, and presto, a connection is made – a friendship is built. Sometimes, it’s a boatload of work – of getting poison thoughts out of my head, of maintaining limits and boundaries even when it feels artificial to ensure there is no power imbalance, of calling even when they’re boring or overemotional or both, of doing favours – and accepting gifts, of little things that make others smile, not laugh. It’s a lot work which I don’t always want to do. But that is where the intimacy within intimacy comes from – doing that work, finding those answers and building those connections.

Today, I build the foundation within the foundation of my relationships – I do the work even when I don’t want to.

Omer 40

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 forty, which is five weeks and five days of the Omer. Hayom yom arbaim she hem hamisha shavuot ve hamisha yamim laOmer.

Today is Hod be Yesod, gratitude within foundation, humility within intimacy.

Today, I am grateful for love. It transforms everything. Really, it is shining bright rainbow colours added to an otherwise bland palette. And the thing about love is that there is no way whatsoever that I can do it by myself. By its nature, Yesod – whether defined as sexuality or intimacy or connection – requires two. So, I have someone else who needs to play in order for Yesod to be successful, someone who I may as well be grateful to. In its meaning of foundation, Yesod confirms that basically, love underlies everything. And today is an excellent day to express gratitude about that foundation, to test it, to see that it remains firm and to enjoy a life built on love.

Today, I am grateful for love. I express that gratitude to those who love me.

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, sexuality within kindness, foundation within generosity.

It keeps being cool that what underlies the other traits is sexuality. Relationship – building bridges between ourselves and others – that is the foundation of what we do, the spur to give more. Today, I reconnect with passion as a translation between dreams and reality, as something which I can use at the back of my head to drive the next action. I take the passion I feel about something and turn it into acts of grace towards others. Today, I turn my kindness on, illuminating it with the light of passion and desire, thus making it stronger and fiercer and more real.

Today, may we be passionate in our loving.

 

Omer – Day 20

Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheynu Melekh ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’zivanu al s’firat haOmer.

Blessed be the Eternal God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through Mitzvot and has commanded us to count the Omer.

Hayom yom esrim laOmer shehem shtey shavuot ve shisha yammim laOmer.

Today is day twenty of the Omer, which is two weeks and six days of the Omer.

Yesod be Tiferet – foundation within beauty; sex within grace

Yes, sex. Mostly, I avoid naughty words in my posts, but really, yesod? it’s about sex on a whole lot of levels. It’s amazing how fundamental sex is. It changes a lot – how we think, what we care about, the structure of our time – a lot of what we do is based on our desire for sex.  And even if we try to pretend it isn’t, sex is a big part of the way we talk about beauty. We find more beautiful the people who we are attracted to, who we want to have sex with. So, let’s just be clear about that. As people, we’ve still got bodies, and those bodies, they like sex.

Today, I acknowledge that sex is a part of who we are, and part of what makes us beautiful.

 

Omer – Day 13

Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheynu Melekh ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’zivanu al s’firat haOmer.

Blessed be the Eternal God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through Mitzvot and has commanded us to count the Omer.

Hayom yom shlosh-esrey laOmer shehem shavua ehad ve shisha yammim laOmer.

Today is day thirteen of the Omer, which is one week and six days of the Omer.

Yesod be Gevura – foundation within strength; passion within limits

What is the foundation of my strength? There are passionate days when doing the next thing comes super-easy, but mostly, that sure isn’t it. No, I’d have to say it’s stick-to-it-iveness. Stubbornness. Sheer, stupid, pigheadedness. I just keep doing that stuff. Sometimes it gets me into trouble – doing the wrong thing over and over is very unlikely to lead to good results. Other times, eventually, as I keep banging my head against the same wall, the wall shatters. It’s probably not the best place to find strength in (you wouldn’t believe the headaches one gets banging against that wall) but it is mine. It is Jewish. It’s how we’ve survived as a people, as a culture, as a nation and as a religion. Right or wrong, we keep doing that thing, over and over again.

How do I want to grow in this area? The Omer is a time of growth, after all. I want to explore more and more why certain ways in which I live make it to that “keep doing it” spot, and put more good, loving activities there, and I want to stubbornly, persistently, and with determination keep trying to stop those activities that harm me, even if it means I have to change something.

Today, I will persist in making healthy changes, and I will laugh at the paradox that my life continues to be.

Omer – Day 6

Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheynu Melekh ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’zivanu al s’firat haOmer.

Blessed be the Eternal God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through Mitzvot and has commanded us to count the Omer.

Hayom yom shishi laOmer.

Today is day 6 of the Omer.

Yesod be Khesed – Foundation within kindness; physical love within spiritual love

On Friday, my mother in law, Peg Lilliman passed away from metastatic cancer and I loved her and I miss her. I am trying to move on from that, but it is more difficult than I expected. I would much rather not. It feels like a failure, oddly, when someone close to you dies – if only you had done something or other differently…and so functioning becomes difficult. Instead, I hide, in my books, in my computer, in anything that will keep me from thinking.

But Peg was loved. Her family, her friends, her coworkers: many different wonderful people loved her. Friday was a love day in the omer. Yesod is foundation and lust and so, a kind of love – physical and animal and a place where we can feel connection and relationship in our bones. Peg had that in full measure. People who loved her, loved all of her. And Yesod was held within Khesed, loving kindness, charity, grace – the spiritual selfless love we strive for but rarely achieve, where we build connection and relationship in our souls. Peg had that too – because she built connection and relationship as easy as breathing.

Today, I will remember Peg as someone who exemplified love.