Today is nineteen days, which are two weeks and five days,
of the Omer. Hod of Tiferet / Emet / Rachamim. Splendor / Humility in Beauty /
Truth / Compassion.
Shabbat services today, Rabbi Mordecai Finley reminded me that “Tiferet” means
“Beauty.” And that I have spent much more time meditating on this
sephira as Truth / Beauty than I have about Compassion.
word you use to describe an emanation is ultimately synonymous with the other
words used to describe it. The purest aspect of truth is beauty, pure truth is
compassion and completely selfless compassion is truthful beauty.
Similarly, Hod means Splendor. (Humility is Anavah in
Hebrew.) Typically, you choose one or two related definitions for a single
emanation and focus on that, rather than trying to collapse seemingly opposite
ideas, like humility and splendor.
think about splendor, my mind immediately imagines sparkles. Perhaps it is the
influence of my 3.5 year-old (or of the 3.5 year-old within me). When you strip
away your material concerns, when you lift your head from your phone and look
around at the physical world, when you close your eyes and imagine existence
beyond material reality — are you struck by how elevated that Truth is? That
is the Splendor I seek.
about the holy splendor of being in the presence of a Torah scroll, of being
next to it while it is being read. I think about the holy splendor of thousands
of years of Jews reading from the same scroll three times a week, the
concentrated and consecrated energy that flows around, from, and toward the
Torah — the splendor of deep compassion that allows us to pray for the healing
of others, and the souls on the brink of the passage from this world to the
next, while the Torah is out among us.
I have struggled to understand why prophecy is associated with splendor. I
think I have finally meditated my way into understanding that truth. May we all
feel the splendor of deep truth, marvel at the splendor of pure beauty, and
channel the splendor of selfless compassion.