Shabbat shalom. This weekend, I am not writing for the skeptic within or the cynic beyond myself. I am writing to begin the conclusion of my Omer count in the year 5781. To reflect upon my fifth year of publicly meditating into Jewish mysticism for seven week.
Today is forty-eight days, which is six weeks and six days of the Omer in the year 5780. יסוד שבשכינה. Yesod ShebeShekhinah. Foundation of Divine Presence. What are our foundational beliefs? How do we live into our core values?
Sink into this Shabbat
I chose not to castigate myself for all the ways I fail to live up to the Ideal Rabbinical Student in my head. Nor to dwell on my daily parenting fails. Instead, this season and this day is about appreciate the Creative Flow and Grace surrounding us in every moment.
My beliefs are constantly unfolding and evolving. This is the beauty of Judaism: I can continuously sink into its depths and pull out new ways of centering my spiritual practices. Yesterday, I questioned everything about my path. Today, I know for sure that my soul called me to this journey for a reason.
May we each take the time to sink into the eternity awaiting us in the slower pace of the Day of Rest. May this Temple in Time help us appreciate the people around us and the journey within.
This is Hard
A colleague suggested that I take a break next year and not hold myself accountable to daily meditations for the Omer. Publicly writing about the journey was my way into making the Omer count a daily practice. Otherwise, the ritual alone fell flat for me. Perhaps next year I will riff for a few minutes on video, rather than attempting new prose read by my husband and the dog. Let me know if this has been meaningful to you.
My Foundation: Always Learning
Regardless of the sphere of human interest, whether it is pop culture or makeup application or dense philosophical texts, I enjoy grounding myself in the wisdom of other people. In some ways, it would be better for me to continue reading about the sephirot rather than writing these blog posts. The truth is that other people can provide insights that are much more deeply grounded in the depths of our tradition.
On the other hand, I see my work as rooted in bringing a rational, feminist lens to knowledge. I bristle at the androcentric language of medieval Jewish mysticism. Halakha is not the guidepost to my Jewish journey. Nor does the Bible need to be true for me to find holiness and depth in its pages. Insight into the human condition continues to evolve. I choose to learn from neuroscientists, psychologists, and science journalists as much I learn from playwrights, rabbis, philosophers, and the redactors of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud.