Forty-three days of the Omer 5778

Today is forty-three days, which is six weeks and one day of the Omer. חסד שבמלכות / חסד שבשכינה, Chesed ShebeMalchut, Chesed Shebe Shechinah. Grace of Sovereignty, Gracious Love of Indwelling Presence.

Can you smell the spiritual freedom in the air? Today, as we honor birth mothers, mothers by choice, chosen matriarchs, and those who choose to mother themselves, we relish the gracious love of the Divine Feminine.

Ultimately, God is beyond gender definitions, in part because God is beyond all definitions. The Divine is without limits; time, space, and words cannot contain The One. And yet, it is intriguing, as a tradition heavy on male metaphors, to consider that one of the earliest Jewish names for God may be “God with Breasts” or “Nurturing God,” El Shaddai.

This week’s emanation of the Divine is closest to us. It is connected to the immanence of God’s presence in our lives and in our souls. The still, small voice inside you is connected to the Shechinah, the Indwelling. When you sink into prayer and feel the love of the universe surrounding you, you are experiencing The Presence.

Allow yourself to take a brief moment beyond skepticism, beyond philosophical doubts rooted in the fundamental question, ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’ Instead, focus on the pulsing heart of the universe yearning to be with you.

And how can you be with the Divine? By walking the path of virtue. You define the path. Religion can provide guideposts along the way, but ultimately it is your journey.

Your life’s journey can either be a lonely walk to death or an open-hearted dialog. God’s sovereignty is a poetic way of saying: there are virtues and values that are more important to me than the vague urges of my ego. I am determined to attach all of my being, all of my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions to my higher self. El Shaddai will protect me. And I will relish Her loving embrace. May you have a soul-nourishing day.

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