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Tishrey 2 – (#BlogElul 26 – Create)

It is an awe-inspiring thing to be created in the image of God. People forget the responsibility that puts on them. Because God is a creator. If we are created in God’s image, then it is incumbent upon us to create. We are, by that act of being, creators. We create with every breath we take. If we aren’t careful, however, what we create won’t be fit to be sold in a government-issue store in a communist country. It will be dull, colourless, badly stitched together and ill-fitting. When we review our years as part of the Yommim Noraim, one of the things to do is note the badly made things we have created and get rid of them. Another thing to do is to plan this year’s creations.

That’s right – plan. Because it’s easy to create garbage. Peel a banana and there you have it – a banana peel, done. But to create something worthy of being in God’s image, that takes planning, it takes determination, it takes creativity, and it takes love. Without planning, it won’t be possible. You know the saying, “the devil is in the details?” Picture him there – waiting to drag you down with him, tempting you to waste time and do things that are not creative in any way. So, I plan what I want to have next year. As part of that, I celebrate this year’s creations.

I taught full time all year. Yes, that’s a creation – all those students who know math better, who like math better and more importantly, who know that cheating gets caught, that prioritising work leads to success, that they have ability, that they can’t ride on that ability but need to work – that is a beautiful creation, and I played a part in it. A family who love each other, who grow together, who learn from each other – and who think that being Jewish is fun. That’s my creation too. I’m not the only one on this creative team, but at least I played a small part. I wrote a lot. I blogged Elul, I counted the Omer, and I prepared tons of interesting, creative materials for math classes. Although most of my writing is a bit cheesy, repetitive and mediocre, occasionally, I write good stuff and I’m proud of what I write. So, this year, I will continue to create in the areas of family, teaching, writing. What else?

Fighting for a better world? Maybe – that could be a neat creation. Increasing connections with friends? Improving the appearance of my surroundings? (I don’t HAVE to be a slob, right?) These are all things I could create this year. These are all goals around which I could make plans. And once I’m done the planning, I’m just started. It’s going to take a lot of determination for me to continue. I’m a procrastinator and little things take me forever. I’m going to want to quit. Anything that could distract me probably will. For instance, I have decided that there will be 29 Blog Elul posts this year. It was NOT easy to get my butt in this chair to write this one.

I need creativity to do the things I do – and creativity hurts, because it means I am invested in the work I do. I want – no, I need it to reflect my emotions. Which means I pick at emotional scars every time I sit down to write, I prod at relationships to see which bit hurts – and then I use that bit to write from, because it is the one that will add the colour and texture and make sure I’m not producing boring material. I know many people say you’re either creative or you’re not. I disagree. We are all created in God’s image. We are all creative. You are either willing to face the pain or you’re not. If you’re coming from a place of shame and embarrassment, you won’t be and you’ll find that the words don’t come, the paint won’t flow, the conversation will end abruptly as you walk away from those you should be with, and you will be completely unable to create.

And that’s where the love must come in, because if I don’t love it, I won’t do it – or I’ll do it mechanically, keeping my self insulated from it. I love what I do – and I’ve tried doing stuff I don’t love, and I’m so good at faking it that lots of people thought it was good creative work. I knew however, and God knew that it was just nicely painted garbage, and not worthy of being seen, especially during the High Holy Days.

So, to create is …well, here is an image. To create, plan to build a fire. Get the supplies and build it hot. Now stick your hands in it. Yes it’s supposed to hurt, that’s the creativity. Use determination and love to keep your hands in the flames. No, you don’t get burned up in this fire. Instead you pull out something incredible, whose beauty reminds you that you were made in God’s image with the power of creation.



Elul 24 – Hope

Oh dear. So today is Erev Rosh HaShanah and I don’t think I’ve ever been this unprepared for the High Holidays. I still have a lot of anger in my heart to some of the people in my life – my attempts to forgive have been met with imperfect success. I still have anger towards myself. I still haven’t apologized to anyone for anything big this High Holiday season, and not all of my small apologies have been sufficiently sincere. I haven’t said goodbye and let go of last year’s things. I haven’t made big plans for how next year will be different. I haven’t even finished the darned Blog (maybe during the Yomim Noraim…) None of that has been done. So, what am I supposed to do?

Rosh HaShanah insists on coming. It’s not going to wait for me to figure it out. It’s going to be there before I say “boo”. My only hope is to what? Fake it? Hope that my reluctant heart does Teshuvah now, right now? Figure that Rosh HaShanah itself will take care of the missing bits? Get a bit harder and more cynical and decide it’s a day like any other day and I should just get on with living it? I don’t have answers.

But each time I ask, maybe I get closer. This, this asking, this yearning for better without being able to know what it is, without ever reaching it – this is my preparation. I prepare by giving up and realizing I can’t and by realizing that I must and by never giving up on hope and the future. I prepare by embracing paradox as a valuable part of my faith and by doing just a bit more today of something (anything) than I did yesterday. I prepare by lo listening to my heart long enough to at least hope for the new year. I may not be brave enough to plan, but I can at least hope.

I hope that I finish this blog this year. I hope that I catch up at work. I hope that I can love my kids with all my heart. (I always wonder if the VeAhavta is talking about the way we love God through loving people.) I hope that I can be kind. There. Right there. That’s my top hope for the year – I hope I can be kind. I hope for the kindness that Hillel preached, when he told the entire Torah on one foot

God, this Rosh HaShanah, let me be kind enough to forgive those that harm me. Let me be kind enough to forgive myself and hope for good things for myself. Let me be kind enough to apologize with ease because the regret comes from the heart and not my thinking. Let me be kind in my writing and my planning. I hope for kindness, God. This year, I have learned to be hard. I have learned to set boundaries so firm that joy and loving and warmth are left out in the cold. So, let those boundaries break this Rosh HaShanah. Let my heart break, even if it hurts, so I have no choice but to feel the kindness that I have buried inside.

I am unlikely to suddenly become successful, efficient, popular, or graceful. I can hope for those traits. I can tell stories with those traits in them and I can work to become more like the person in the stories. But it will take time. However, I have been kind. I know what that feels like and I know I can do so. So, that’s what I need to return to. This will be my hope – that I can be a kind person, one who loves truly and cares for other people.

Elul 21 – Love

Well that’s unfortunate! I wrote about ‘love’ yesterday, for fill. What to do now? Ah well, Bible story time.


Raising Children

They’re my children. I know it sounds odd, because they are important people and everyone knows them and no one really knows me, but still. They’re still mine. 3 generations of them, from the time when I was much too young but already had a baby and was called to wet nurse for this little girl to the time I finally got another little girl to play with so very many years later – all of them were loved by me, raised by me, praised by me, sung to at night by me, hugged by me and chastised by me. Although, as a nurse, my ability to chastise was limited. If I could have only had more influence, maybe I could have taught that one more about honesty, or kept that one from fighting so much. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to watch brilliant, broken people grow up and self destruct. Oh, but then…my children are so beautiful. Maybe I wouldn’t have done any better, and would have just been overpowered by the sheer wonder of them all.

Rebecca was my first. She was so smart! Few little girls are that smart. I was her nurse from the time her busy, uncaring mother first stuck her onto my breast and forever more. The way we loved each other, Rebecca and I! Of course I had my own babies and husband and I loved them and I raised them well, and they all got jobs as nurses and butlers, as manservants and maids but Rebecca…she was special. Quick as anything she was, and strong. She knew what she wanted and no one or nothing would get in the way of her getting it.  She did have her faults. Sadly, she was not above manipulating her parents to get what she wants – and they fell for it too! “But Mama, Dad said I could…”, “but Mama, it’s so hard to be from a chief’s family, there’s no other fault…” Laban got in trouble a lot for things that were at least partially Rebecca’s fault. Of course, I yelled at her about it, but sometimes, that just wasn’t enough. She knew it worked with her parents, so of course she used manipulation.

She listened to me in most things, though. And even more importantly, she talked to me. Her questions, her ideas, her hugs – she explored the notion of Gods with me, and told me about the One God of Abraham (Bethuel knew about that God of course, but somehow, it was still Abraham’s God.) She kind of liked the idea of one God that ruled all the others. She thought it sounded clever, and less confusing. She also talked about marriage – she wanted someone to love her. In her family, all the marriages were for money and power. She saw my family though. We were just together as two servants, my husband and I, and we had picked each other and she wanted that so much. She knew it was not to be, though. It didn’t make sense for her. She’d need to be married off to secure a holding or to prevent a battle.

I think that’s why she was so ready to go with Eliezer when he came. Since an arranged marriage had to happen, she wanted to be part of arranging it. This way, she’d be with the one-God-of-Abraham people, and she’d be far enough from her family that maybe – just maybe – love could happen

Of course she made sure we went with her. Why wouldn’t she? They were going to send along some servants anyway, and my husband and children could just as well serve Isaac as Laban. We are invisible, you know – us servants who make sure that the babies are fed and the house is clean. When it says “Abraham prepared this”…or Isaac did that…or Jacob, or Rachel, or any of them, it doesn’t even always mention the ones that served the morning coffee or drove the sheep or mended the clothes. Who did the filling of the basin Abraham brought? Who prepared the choice animals for feasting? Faceless, nameless people. But we still love our masters and mistresses and want the best for them. So, I came. It didn’t matter to anyone else, and it mattered a great deal to Rebecca and I. We needed to stay together – and so we did. They fell in love as soon as they saw each other of course, Isaac and Rebecca did. It’s the first love story of the bible, really. That’s when I first started believing in this God – clearly, God had arranged this marriage. They both needed love so badly. I tried – but distant, indulgent self absorbed parents make it so much harder. Now, maybe they could love each other – and maybe their children would have the love they needed from their parents not a random nurse.

It was not to be, of course. The men of that family always had a hard time with babies. Couldn’t get their wives pregnant for years. Bethuel had children late, as did Abraham – and Isaac was no different. Rebecca wanted children so much – “mama Deborah,” she’d tell me, “I’ll be good with them – I’ll truly love them.” But when she finally had children, that wasn’t simple either. It was a hard pregnancy, and I almost lost her a couple of times during the birthing (of course I was there, where else would I be?) The babies wore her out. She was always tired, always slow, always grumpy – my quicksilver, super clever and funloving girl! And Esau – how could she, who was so smart, give him her love? He was slow to learn things. He preferred the doing. He was a big boy, quick – but sometimes he broke things in his enthusiasm. She liked Jacob – sweet, smart – like Rebecca in boy form, the best of his parents put together. It wasn’t fair to Esau of course. He wasn’t a bad boy – he was just not a Rebecca sort of boy. Isaac liked him. Isaac was a simple man and liked simple things and Esau was – well, a bit simple. He got Rebecca’s looks and quick movement, but not her cleverness – no that went to Jacob.

It tore the family apart, really – Isaac and Esau against Rebecca and Jacob. Whereas before the two of them celebrated differences, now the differences were highlighted and accentuated by children who parodied the best – and the worst of their parents. I tried to bridge the gap. I learned to read and write so I could work with Esau on his letters and I learned to ride so I could take Jacob out for rides and get him moving. The boys both loved me. I was their Mama Deborah and many a time, the one they ran to with their tales of woe. “Look!” Jacob would say, “I wrote this incredible poem about God, and dad said it was sissy stuff”. “I found the most beautiful oasis,” Esau would complain, “and it’s not far and mom won’t even come look.” I comforted, consoled, counselled and corrected but once again – there’s only so much a nurse can do. I tried to show Rebecca that Jacob was a bit sneaky but how could she see that when she did it herself? And Esau was so frustrated and so active and stuck with parents who liked to read or to study that he lashed out and yelled at everyone and everything. They were so critical and so demanding, those two – and playing favourites! Let me tell you, they were wonderful people but as parents…

So, it didn’t surprise me that as Isaac was dying, Rebecca and Jacob manipulated him into birthright and blessing. I could have predicted that! I also could have predicted how mad Esau was. He was being left with nothing, poor boy and so he turned against all of us. I understood – but I missed my big guy. Jacob went back to Laban’s and I thought I was done parenting – but then Rebecca got really worried. How was Jacob doing? Did he have children? Why wouldn’t he come home? Rebecca missed her Jacob a lot So, old or otherwise, up to Haran I go, and there’s Jacob, married to two wives, a whole passel of children and no clue how to raise them. So, I’m Mama Deborah again, and the wives are seeking my aid with jealousy anyways. Stop it! I tell them – jealous broken parents lead to issues with the children. Just cut it out. But they don’t – Sigh another generation. Still, I will do my best to raise them up well with good values and strong skills and hope of the future.

I don’t know. I talked and I taught, I comforted and I challenged, I disciplined and I delighted. I raised them all as best I could and gave them all what self confidence I had. So, these children – they’re mine. That’s it – I worked hard and loved hard and when I die, I hope that some of these people will cry at my passing. And until then, well I have plenty of tasks to do and children to love.  That is enough for me. I’m mama Deborah after all.

Elul 20 – Fill

We have a blessing. “Oh fill my cup until it overflows with love. I share my cup because it overflows with love.” It’s pretty when sung, and there are days when it is definitely one of my favourites. It’s a very Jewish blessing in some ways – the “my cup overflows” always makes me think of ‘Adon Olam’ (ask for my Adon Olam translation some day. It’s the prettiest and best for singing – she says modestly.) Other times, I just don’t seem to have that love to share, I just don’t. Then, I resent it – where am I supposed to get this overflowing cup from, again?

Lately, my daily “sensible sayings for the day” feed has been full of ideas about love. Most of them seem to be in exactly the same vein. They all say, “stop asking for it, you moron, and start giving it!” Sometimes, though, I think God asks for too much! How can we share our cups of love when they don’t seem to be overflowing? When, in fact, they seem to have nothing but dried on old coffee grounds that should have been cleaned out ages ago. When they were last used to drink the soup of the soup of the soup (great Jewish story – ask me if you don’t know it.) It feels so much like there’s nothing to share.

Of course, there is. There are probably tons of people who love us. Our partners, our children, our family and friends – plenty of love all around. The cup can still seem empty though, in the middle of a fight, or in the middle of the night. Sometimes that love is hard to see. How does one handle those horrible days when the goal is to give love and one feels there’s nothing there? Don’t know. My current approach of no sleep, caustic humour and shutting down when upset may not be the best one at giving love. Once or twice, I’ve noticed that opportunities for being loving have come up and passed me by because I just wasn’t on the ball enough. And given my noticing skills, if one or two have come up, 20 or 30 have gone down without my even being aware of their existence.

So, I need to work on filling my own cup.  Because asking the universe to do it for me always gets that annoying indulgent parental smile of “aww, sweetie…you can do it yourself, I know you can”. (Yes, I use that exact tone of voice with my students – doesn’t mean I like it directed at me, thank you very much, God.) I need to remember what has worked in the past and start using those approaches.

I know that ‘no sleep’ stinks as an approach, for example. I need to start filling my cup by loving myself well enough to take care of myself. Yes, there are other priorities – including this blog, I will do all 29 posts by Rosh HaShanah, darn it all – but if I never put me on the priority list, I fail. So, I have to try to love myself just a little ‘6 hours a night’ bit. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy food is a necessity. Let’s see if I can do it. I certainly will try.

I have to look for the love in the cup, too. As I said, I am not very good at noticing. I am extremely blessed, and when I get off the pity potty, I recognize it. It’s been a while since my daily gratitude list happened daily. There’s another thing to resurrect – I need to keep reminding myself of good things, keep my eyes open, recognize the love I’m being given (“I sent a boat, a helicopter…”) and appreciate it, and maybe my humour won’t be quite as toxic.

Shutting down when upset is probably also not the best approach as that upset has nowhere to go, creates a lump and that lump sits in my cup like curdled milk, smells yucky and keeps my cup from filling with anything decent. Saying or writing the upset, working through it, moving on – there are people who can do all that automatically. Then again, there are people who remember their wallets automatically. I need to always check for my wallet, and I need to engage in constant spiritual practice to deal with emotions. Again, downplaying prayer, journaling, contact with support network, meditation – all not acceptable.

There are people who manage with actual empty cups – with no family, or friends, or health, or resources. And while some of them are unable to share anything but their despair, others seem to pour out love as if that cup were never ending. Maybe they love themselves enough. Maybe they see god’s love. Maybe they actually follow one of those daily inspirational readings and behave like adults and give love instead of expecting to receive it (yes, giving love causes the cup to fill and overflow. I remember that when I give myself enough sleep.) I, who have so much, want to be more like those people. I want to share my cup of love until it overflows. I want to fill that cup with loving deeds and thoughts and feelings until I can sing cleanly and openly, and know it’s true.

“I share my cup because it overflows”.

Elul 12 – Count

We had such a good time singing last night. Maybe it isn’t a real “Slihot” service to sit around singing songs of change and renewal – everything from “Eli, eli” to “simple gifts”, from Christian hymns, to Jewish rounds, from High Holidays poetry to campfire songs – but it’s my way of marking that changing season, that changing time. Fall is when everything is in flux – plants needing to come in from the gardens, kids starting school, leaves changing colour and falling, and of course, the High Holidays. Now, one chapter of the book of life has ended, and another is beginning. So, it’s important to put one’s heart in the right place, and to look at everything I did over the year, and to make plans for the next year.

Mostly, it’s a bit overwhelming. The amount I haven’t done is so much bigger than the amount I did. It almost doesn’t seem worth trying – there’s just too much to do, too much to think about, and none of it seems to mean anything because it’s the same thing, year after year.

I have to remind myself – everything counts. Singing with friends and family – that COUNTS, that gets written into the book, and looked at when determining what kind of year I’ve had. Teaching a kid well – that counts. Writing an email to a friend, making a phone call, marking a quiz or typing in a lesson plan, washing a dish or putting out the garbage. These are all things that count.

There is a feeling when you do the right thing – a moment of connection through others, a snap like the universe has aligned itself and like the broken pieces of the world have stuck together. When a group of people is involved, that feeling can be super clear. It’s the place where one feels an interconnectedness among people that suggests a higher level of being, a more perfect expression of the love we feel for each other. That’s what those sweet moments with children and other family members are about. We create that moment for us and for them.

The moment passes. It’s a rare person who never doubts her self worth, her place in this world, her connection to others. Most of the time we muddle towards mediocrity and worry we’re messing even that up. (If you feel like you’re doing it right most of the time, and the people around you agree then you are an exceptional human being. Please don’t come over – I’ll probably just feel jealous and that will be another trait for me to work on through Elul. If you feel like you’re doing it right all the time and the people around you don’t agree, maybe you need to check in with others from time to time. That’s dangerous psycho stuff.)

That’s what our Slihot singing is – an opportunity to make the world stronger and more whole for each of us, if only for that moment. Every time I sing, I connect to others and build or rebuild the bonds between us. It’s beautiful. That’s why we do it.

Heck, that’s why I do religion in general – it builds those moments, and although we are not supposed to do good things even for emotional reward, I’ll step onto a lower rung of spiritual growth for a moment. I’ll say that it makes all the effort worth while. That feeling of doing something that counts, that matters, that connects, that repairs – that’s what I want to have and hold on to in my life.

Omer 42

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 two, which is six weeks of the Omer. Hayom yom arbaim v’shtayim she hem shisha shavuot laOmer.

Today is Malkhut be Yesod, majesty within intimacy, nobility within sexuality.

Nobility? Eh, it’s not very noble, sex is. It’s sweaty and people have fat rolls and sometimes they make gross noises and as far as I know, it’s about as un-noble as it gets. As for the ‘purer’ love between a kid and a parent, somewhere between changing the diapers and putting up with the temper tantrums, paying for the lost bus pass (again) and explaining that going to the dentist and doing taxes are things that you have to do without reminders from mommy, that love seems less noble and more just tiring too. And yet – yet it is. It is beautiful, because the simple act of loving makes everything shine and look better and sound better and feel easier. That loving can be the rose coloured glasses through which one sees the world and which make everything look better.

Today, I realize that the nobility of love is that it can make even very unappealing moments seem majestic.

Omer 33 – Lag BaOmer

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 thirty three, which is four weeks and five days of the Omer. Today is Lag BaOmer! Hayom yom shloshim ve shalosh she hem arba’a shavuot ve hamisha yammim laOmer. Hayom Lag BaOmer!

Today is Hod be Hod, gratitude within gratitude, thankfulness within thankfulness

Today I express gratitude for spring. I notice the flowers and the veggies and the birds that are everywhere. I even notice the pesky bunnies and squirrels who eat the flowers and veggies. I express gratitude for stories. Today, we talk about a story where people pretended to go on a picnic, just so they could go to school. I have to tell my students that there were people out there who skipped picnics for school, rather than the other way around. Today, I celebrate my family. It is Mother’s Day, and I have a wonderful mom who I will go out with later on in the day. I express gratitude for my parents and especially my cool, interesting, and loving mother. She has always been my support, my inspiration, and my friend.

Today, I am also grateful for memories of a parent that I lost. One year and ten days ago, I lost Peg Lilliman, a woman who was a second mother to me in my life. Although she was connected to no one in our family by blood, the connections we made through love and caring are ones that sustained me and supported me for many years. While I cannot be grateful for her loss (I miss her,) today, and every Mother’s Day, I remember Peg Lilliman and I will remember her with gratitude for the incredible life she lived and love she gave.

Today, we are grateful for the world we live in, for birth and life cycles, for special memories and for the mothers who make it all possible.

Omer 20

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 which is two weeks and six days of the Omer. Hayom yom esrim she hem shtey shavuot ve shisha yammim laOmer.

Today is Yesod be Tiferet, sexuality within beauty, intimacy within loveliness.

It’s pretty, spring is. To see two birds flying together, or two lovers walking hand in hand – it’s really nice to see and it brings out an answering yearning in our hearts. It is wonderful to observe and participate, and there is nothing as lovely as being in love. It has its commensurate ugliness though. The problem with Yesod is all your secrets are involved. That secret heartache? That old issue? That time, when you…those are all things that emerge in relationships, like old bits of junk that were buried under the snow when winter came. (Oh that old thing? I was wondering where it had gone…wow it’s a mess, all rusted and broken and ugly.) It’s good, because it allows for clean-up, but it isn’t pretty.

This is where there is a choice. One can cover up that nastiness, pretending it was never there. “Mess, what mess? There was never any mess. I just prefer that tarp in that particular spot.” That does make it look prettier right away but basically, it’s a denial of Yesod. If I want intimacy, I need to be willing to see the ugliness, acknowledge it, deal with it and clean it up.

Today, I will be willing to look at the messy parts of my heart. I know that it will enhance intimacy – and thus the beauty of my relationships.

Omer 19

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 nineteen which is two weeks and five days of the Omer. Hayom yom tisha-es’re she hem shtey shavuot ve hamisha yammim laOmer.

Today is Hod be Tiferet, gratitude within beauty, appreciation within loveliness.

Today is a good day to appreciate the people in my life. There are many who are wonderfully beautiful. The others have beautiful aspects – they have beautiful eyes, or there’s that time when they went out of their way. It’s amazing to see their smiles, and they remind me of good times we’ve spent together. All of these things are beautiful and there are many people whom I love. I remind myself of the beauty of others sometimes. I also ask myself, “am I as beautiful as I can be? Do I do kind things, smile, spend good times – and also try to look good for others?” Sometimes, I can be more successful than others. Beauty helps to build relationships. I enjoy it and find gratitude for the beautiful people in my life.

Today, we acknowledge that people are beautiful. We can appreciate that!

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.