Today is eight days, which is one week and one day of the Omer, in the year 5782. חסד שבגבורה, Chesed ShebeGevurah, Covenantal Love within Discernment.
Beginning the Second Week: Reflecting on Gevurah
The second week of the Omer is dedicated to meditating into Gevurah. This sefirah gets a bad rap because in the Kabbalistic imagination, Gevurah unchecked by Chesed creates the Sitra Achra, the Other Side. In other words, evil emanates from the Divine when strength and judgment go unchecked.
I am choosing not to comment on the world this year in my Omer counting. Instead, I am looking within to see how the positive aspects of this map of reality speak into me.
Discernment: Choosing Life
There are many phrases from the Hebrew Bible that speak to the clarity created by Gevurah. Most clearly, Deuteronomy chapter 30 verses 19 and 20:
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life—if you and your offspring would live—
by loving your God יהוה, heeding God’s commands, and holding fast to [God]. For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that יהוה swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.JPS translation via Sefaria
When we align ourselves with the Covenantal Love of HaShem, we choose life. We discern that there are better and worse ways to live. We start with love, we choose the freedom of living in alignment with virtues, and we choose rituals that connect us with the breadth of time and space.
Listen to the Voice Within
The voice within beckoned me to the future I am creating. That future required sacrifices. Many of those sacrifices were done by the people around me. My husband. My children. My in-laws. My parents. All of these people held space for me while I traveled deeper within myself and the depths of Jewish wisdom.
The first step I took was deciding to change jobs. I took a leap into the unknown. Then another leap and another. Every step of the way, I had clear discernment about what mattered most to me: healthcare, a living wage, and deeper purpose.
Not all of us have the luxury of aligning our paid work with our highest ideals. All work is honorable. The important thing is not what you do for a living, but how you make a life. That is what the voice within calls each of us towards: alignment with our greatest vision for ourselves.
Source of Blessing, Your Grace Flows
Source of Blessing, Your Grace Flows;
Your Grace washes over me,
Your Covenantal Love envelops me
Calm within the ever-present circle of Your Love,
I can see clearly the outlines of who I am meant to be.
Blessed are You, Source of Blessing, for giving me life and making this day possible.