Discipline Frees the Soul to Sing: 16 Days of Omer 5780, Gevurah ShebeTiferet

Today is sixteen days, which is two weeks and two days of the Omer, in the year 5780. גבורה שבתפארת. Gevurah ShebeTiferet. Discipline of Beauty. 

Boundaries Focus Art

Penetrating the world through art requires clear boundaries. Rules are the fertilizer for great art. Cherry blossom trees cannot thrive if jumbled one on top of each other. Clear lines creates space for the roots to grow and the trees to thrive. Similarly, limits allow artists to thrive within the structure provided. 

I choose to write in the morning and evening because it gives structure to my day. An outlet for my spiraling mind, it clarifies my reason for moving forward in this day. A deep part of me would rather let go and sink into passive consumption of art. If I give into my Yetzer HaRa, my inclination towards destructiveness, I will not be satisfied. The gnawing guilt of all I “should” be doing would not allow me to enjoy the extra hours created by ceasing my own creative output.

Discipline Frees the Soul to Sing

Televised cooking competitions have introduced many of us to the concept of “mise en place,” the set up required to cook with flow. The discipline of a well-ordered work space can lead to a more well-ordered mind and a more productive day. 

There’s a reason so many delightful poems are haikus. And Shakespeare wrote sonnets.

This Shabbat We Enter Iyar, Ziv: Radiance and Budding

We begin to heal and transform from darkness to light. Flowers are blooming. The earth is regenerating. Hopefully, moments within this mind-altering isolation provide the opportunity for healing and growth. 

If you are overwhelmed with responsibilities, I see you. My words are not meant to imply that if you have not had a transformative experience, you’re surviving a pandemic wrong. Only that it is possible to take this time out of time and refract it for our own self-healing and self-growth. This is why I am reading the Book of Psalms and counting the Omer. Helping myself turn towards my vision of my life, and push away from the shouting, angry, overwhelmed person within me.

Praying for Moments of Depth and Deep Meaning

Flow within the strength of beauty, the discipline of truth. 
Recognize that I am enough, we are enough, just as we are. 
God with Breasts, El Shaddai, may the honey from the crag you offer flow freely in our house.
May we enter your holy embrace with compassion and grace.
Heavenly Queen, wrap us in the awesome flow of your brilliance. 
Remind us that material reality is only one aspect of life. 
Brilliant refractions of Divine Harmony, hold us firmly in your loving embrace. 

Previous or maybe future incarnations of this day…

5779 / 2019: Art as a meditation on Divine truth.

5778 / 2018: Setting boundaries on compassion helps everyone.

5777 / 2017: Nurture your boundaries and honor your own needs.


Something about the energy of this day reminds me of this book. The book let me know this coworker might be The One. I invited my coworker / boyfriend to a lecture at the Skirball, nervous that maybe he would think I was too Jewish for inviting him to a lecture on the Jewish origins of super heroes. His reply? Oh, hey, that’s a high school buddy of mine giving the lecture.

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