36 Days of Omer 5780, Covenantal Love in Personality: Chesed of Yesod

Today is thirty-six days, which is five weeks and one day of the Omer in the year 5780. חסד שביסוד, Chesed ShebeYesod, Covenantal Love of Foundation.

One’s personality can be described as one’s foundation. It is the prism and prison through which we see the world. In this week, I will endeavor to discuss how the sephirot are refracted through personality. 

Connecting to Covenantal Love

It is so easy to separate ourselves from the Divine. To see ourselves as completely separate from the Soul of Souls, the Ground of Being. Even worse, we get wrapped up in other people’s definitions of HaShem and declare “I don’t believe in God.” Every time I hear that, I want to say “explain what you mean, because I probably don’t believe in that god either.” 

We also have a hard time accepting covenantal love. As if accepting a formal relationship with HaShem excludes other people from having such a relationship. Or worse, perhaps we think our type of relationship is the only true way to connect with the Divine. 

Choosing Words Wisely

The deepest way I try to reflect covenantal love in my daily life is to choose the words I say and write. Let me admit, my ability shattered in the first weeks of sheltering in place. My ability to write has often backfired against me. Some would say I speak too freely about my personal life on this blog, and thus limit my future job prospects. 

I only know one way of being: truly honest, though with socially appropriate barriers to my personal depths. 

When I say that my goal is to not raise my voice nor use language that I do not want to hear from my children, it is not because I have never done those things. It is because I have experienced being on the other side of that. And I have witnessed how my anger only adds to my childrens’ disregulation. 

Moments of Prayer

I am trying to build up my prayer muscles. For now, I will say that prayerful moments and contemplative meditation on holy texts are gifts from God. May we all accept those gifts graciously.

Accepting our own limits

I cannot change my deep focus on my own studies. Nor can I change the number of gatherings I did not attend because I was in class or studying. I can only look forward and choose to be more mindful about creating space for all aspects of my life. I have never been more conscious of what a gift human contact is. It may be a long time before I am comfortable attending in-person gatherings. I am preparing now to be fully present at those events by focusing my attention on the humans I am with now. 

36 days of Omer before COVID-19

5779 / 2019: The child within clings to you.

5778 / 2018: Embracing full-throated love.

5777 / 2017: Selfless love connects covenantal communities.

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  1. Pingback: Lovingkindness within Bonding, 36 Days Omer 5781 - Rabbi (in-training) Minster

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