Today is forty-seven days, which is six weeks and five days of the Omer in the year 5780. הוד שבשכינה, Hod ShebeShekhinah. Splendor of Divine Presence.
Arms holding space for the Divine
Netzach and Hod are the arms holding space for the Divine. The eternal prophecy of Netzach is contained in the splendor of space created through Hod.
A traditional Jewish day was once marked by sacrifices to the Presence. Now, we reflect on eternity by praying. Not just in the morning, afternoon, and evening, but with every act of our day. Our eating becomes meaningful when we stop to speak words of gratitude for the morsels we are about to consume. Imagine being so rooted in gratitude that you have the presence to stop before every random chip and grape that enters your mouth.
Gratitude pursues us
Judaism gives us the opportunity to reflect on the the ultimate Cause of Being, while being grateful to the immediate humans and seasons that allow us to be fulfilled by the fruits of the earth.
Amorphous time finds shape through meaning
Time can feel infinite during a pandemic. And yet, when a loved one is dying, every moment can feel like eternity. It is strange the way that the same amount of time feels different depending on where we focus our attention.
Pandemic reality past and present
Until recently, I had no idea more people died of the flu than lost their lives in World War One. Neither AP European History, nor History of the Great Powers, nor any international relations course I took in college mentioned the 1918 flu. It only made an appearance during my Medieval and early modern history course with Dr. Bob Levy, z”l.
I think about how much more difficult this pandemic is. The mental and physical demands. The lack of US federal government oversight. The inability to rise above partisan differences to face this medical problem head on. Above all, how hard it is to face death in the year 2020.
Creating physical space that welcomes holiness
Usually, Hod is seen in our communal physical spaces dedicated to holy community. It is still far too dangerous to gather together for prayer. And so, we are each impelled to create space for Shekhinah, Her Presence, within ourselves and our private spaces.
Every time we clean our bathrooms, we make space for the holy.
Putting away toys and books creates holy space.
HaMakom is where we make space for Her
HaMakom, The Place, is not just the bimah with an ark and Torah scroll. After all, that most Jewish of words — bimah — is merely a Greek loan word that means platform. Throughout time, we thrive because we adapt.
May we have the resilience to adapt and find moments of deep connection, grounded joy, and human flourishing.