Ten Days of the Omer 5777

Today is ten days, which is one week and three days of the Omer. Tiferet in Gevurah, Compassion in Discipline.

There is an inherent tension between those two words. I have trouble expressing pure compassion – selflessly accepting another on their own terms. I’m reading “Group Spiritual Direction,” by Rose Mary Dougherty, a Christian perspective on being present for another as they find their way to the Spirit within that flows through all of us.

While the theology of the book is not mine, it is helping me understand the principles behind the (required) spiritual direction class I am in. And it clarifies for me what it means to “channel and direct one’s strengths with compassion.” (Paraphrase of the Meaningful Life Center meditation for today.)

I didn’t accomplish a tenth of my agenda for the day. With compassion, I am accepting the vicissitudes of toddler time and moving forward.

Nine Days of the Omer 5777

Today is nine days, which is one week and two days of the Omer. Gevurah of Gevurah, Discipline of Discipline.

Sleep deprivation has ruined my internal discipline. And my mind races with each passing conversation on Facebook. I am on a journey to discipline my use of Facebook.

How does time vanish in your life? Are you intentional about every day’s journey? Do you keep a schedule and reflect on whether you accomplished your daily goals?

Today I will sleep more, set a realistic schedule, and stick to it. I will try to create a daily routine, and remember my children are my disciples, not my wards.

Seven Days of the Omer 5777

Today is Seven Days of the Omer, which is One Week of the counting of the Omer, Shechinah / Malchut of Chesed, Place of Dwelling / Kingdom of Lovingkindness.

May I have the courage to stand steadfast in my search for love, truth, meaning, and holiness. May I always remember to cultivate the holiness within me, so that from my inner essence I may approach other souls with love and honor.

May the indwelling of love within each of us radiate throughout our interactions. May we accept differences with compassion and may we stand firm for our core values.

Six Days of Omer 5777

Today is the sixth day of the Omer, Yesod of Chesed, Bonding in Love.

Deep bonds of affection, camaraderie, and appreciation for the unique gifts of each soul are needed to fully actualize love. I am grateful to experience these bonds in my family of origin and my family of choice.

The Meaningful Life Center published the MyOmer app, the source of the meditation that begins my counting. Chabad published the Omer Counter – I prefer their version of the blessing that is supposed to accompany the counting when done at night.

According to strict Jewish law, you cannot say the blessing if you don’t start counting on the second night of Passover without missing a day. As Rabbi Finley, says every year, the Omer Police are woefully underfunded – so engage with the tradition as you can because it is truly transformative. This is the first year I have dedicated to completing the count continuously at night and I have to say, it is helping me rediscover why I am in rabbinical school.

Day Five of the Omer 5777

Today is the fifth day of the Omer, Hod in Chesed, Humilty in Lovingkindness.

May I have the humility to lead with Chesed in all of my interactions, especially with those closest to me. May I have the strength to overcome the fractures in my character, the ingrained patterns of destructiveness. May I always humbly remember that knowledge is less important than right action.

Day Four of the Omer 5777, Netzach of Chesed

Today is the fourth day of the counting of the Omer. Netzach of Chesed, the Endurance of Love, the Triumph of Lovingkindness.

I wonder if selfless love is truly enduring. I wonder if enduring love is healthier when it respects boundaries and creates boundaries to honor the one who is loving.

In the end, love will always triumph. Before I felt comfortable expressing Jewish wisdom, I felt the truth of the musical, Les Miserables: “To love another person is to see the face of God.” May we all experience pure love, may it endure, and may we honor its triumph.

Day Three of the Omer 5777 Tiferet Shebe Chesed

Today is the third day of the Omer. Tiferet of Chesed, Harmony of Loving-kindness, Compassionate Love.

Through this sephira, we merge in perfect harmony the strict boundaries of Gevurah with the overflow of love in Chesed. Selfless Love finds itself in Tiferet of Chesed, giving though the other does not deserve our love, being of service even when our service is unnoticed.

Yesterday, I strayed far from the path of Chesed. My rhetoric focused on acknowledging only the struggles of people who walk my path and think in my logic patterns. May I always remember the souls who surround me are on their own journeys, with their own stumbling blocks. May I focus more on removing those impediments. May I always remember we each are doing our best. May I deepen my understanding of compassionate love and may I express it to everyone I meet, whether in person or online.

Two Days of the Omer 5777

Today is the second day of counting the Omer. Jewish days begin at sundown and the traditional laws require you to count and say the blessing at night, when the day begins.

I’ve often wondered about this. My guess is that it is important to set your intentions for the day before going to sleep, so your unconscious has the holiest possible thoughts to interpret. This is also why my addiction to Facebook / staring at this phone at night is so dangerous.

In any event, today is Gevurah of Chesed. The discipline required in love. If you give too freely, you will lose yourself in another person’s wants and needs. You may smother the agency of your beloved. Clear boundaries are needed to ensure we can each thrive. This is also helpful in understanding that there are natural limits to how much any other person determines the course of our life. Parents, lovers, teachers, abusers, politicians — there are boundaries between them and the essence of our loving kindness.

May we have the courage to honor and glorify the boundaries of our love today.

Chesed SheBe Chesed 5777

Chesed of chesed. Lovingkindness of Lovingkindness. The purest essence of love.

Being of service. Being present to the holiness of each living soul and helping to elevate each soul to its highest potential.

I begin the journey of counting the omer – now with apps to ensure the busyness of parenthood and rabbinical school doesn’t derail my intention to meditate deeply on the spiritual values that connect me to the deepest parts of myself and the holiness that surrounds us all.

My beloved chose Chesed as his Hebrew name. If you know him, you have the privilege of experiencing the embodiment of chesed. May we all have the courage to express our souls and support the souls of those around us as completely and unselfishly as Chung-Mau Cheng. I strive everyday to live up to his example. ❤💝