Forty-nine days of the Omer 5778

Today is the forty-ninth day, seven weeks of the Omer. It is Shabbat and the day before Shavuot. מלכות שבמלכות, שכינה שבשכינה, Sovereignty of Sovereignty, Divine Immanence of Divine Presence.

In Jewish tradition, formal mourning does not begin until a loved one is buried. There are prescribed rituals for the first week, month, and year after a loved one is buried. All of those rituals are interrupted by Shabbat and other holidays. While a mourner is not permitted to attend a wedding, they are supposed to find a level of joy in Shabbat, our sanctification of time.

Because it is Shabbat and will soon be the Day of Revelation of the Torah, I am not going to speak further about death. I will say that Abraham Joshua Heschel implores us to have a coherent philosophy that is as meaningful in times of misery as it is in times of prosperity.

We must hold fast to our values, draw the Divine Presence close even when it feels God is hidden forever. God is near to all who call, to all who call upon The Cause Of Being in peace.

Our souls yearn for meaning, for purpose beyond material possessions. Our duty is to each human being we encounter. We must find a way to be of service to one another, to enhance human flourishing, and to expand goodness and holiness in the world.

May you have a peaceful and loving Shabbat. May you allow yourself the time to let go of the world and sink into yourself and your journey towards freedom. Shabbat Shalom.

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