Today is fifteen days, which is two weeks and one day of the Omer 5780. חסד שבתפארת, Chesed ShebeTiferet, Covenantal Love of Beauty. חסד שבאמת, Chesed ShebeEmet, Covenantal Love of Truth.
The week of Beauty and Truth Begins
The sephira most deeply associated with twin words, Tiferet Emet, Beauty / Truth. Here’s the truth about why I can meditate into the Omer for four years in a row and never say the same thing: the names are place-holders for a constellation of connected ideas. Human words cannot contain Divine reality. The ebb and flow between the left side, the right side, the integration of those sides in the middle column — it’s all a metaphor for the give and take of life.
We are pulled in multiple directions every minute of the day. Whether we are sheltering in place or rushing to work. Choosing a single paradigm and living in alignment with that paradigm brings serenity. This is the draw of fundamentalism.
The transdenominational understanding of Judaism in which I swim honors the reality coursing through all ways of being Jewish. I have chosen a path that works for me. Not because it was sanctioned by a movement, but because it was sanctioned by the transformation of my soul. This is the beauty and truth I honor today: the life-changing, life-affirming experiencing of living in alignment with the Divine. The values beyond me that inspire me to be the best version of me I can be.
Enjoy Art, Relish Beauty, and You’ll Find Truth.
Covenantal Love of Beauty: the beautiful inspiration I find in gorgeously produced landscape photography. How my soul sings when I watch a well-crafted and well-acted play. Or how my imagination soars in community when I gather with strangers to watch the most recent installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
My husband thinks I need to cut that last line. I want to be perfectly clear: pop culture is as beautiful as “high art.” I experience beauty giving birth and placing well-pigmented shadow on my eye lids. We contain multitudes and we should never limit ourselves to the boxes other people have designed.
Eternal Flames of Truth and Beauty
I pledge a covenant with the eternal flames of Truth and Beauty. See something beautiful: touch truth beyond words. Experience beautiful art: understand the truth of the human condition beyond statistics. Truth exists on many planes.
It is painful to accept how some worldviews deny basic factual truth and cling to paradigms unhelpful in a pandemic. The truth that radiates love grounds me in acceptance. People are imperfect mortals; truth is beautiful and eternal.