Today is thirteen days, which is one week and six days of the Omer, 5782. יסוד שבגבורה, Yesod of Gevurah, Foundation of Strength.
El Shaddai: my Rock and my Redeemer
Contemporary Judaism shies away from focusing directly on HaShem. God is so unknowable that we often take Her out of the conversation. We want to be so inclusive that we don’t want to offend people who don’t believe in God. Absolutely, Jewish community does not have a belief litmus test. Yet, I would be lying if I ignored the Force at the center of my life.
Still, it has been difficult to write my meditations this week. I get worried about offending people. Once, I was accused of being a Christian missionary because my words were enflamed by God’s grace.
Nevertheless, this is a truth that keeps nipping at me.
Tzuri v’Go’ali. צוּרִי וְגֹאֲלִי my Rock and my Redeemer.
These words from Psalm 19 conclude the personal prayer written by Mar son of Ravina that is recorded in Berakhot 17a (a section of Talmud). Mar son of Ravina was my first teacher. In the prayer books I grew up with, the only poetry left in the English translation was his prayer. It pierced my soul from the first moment I was able to read it. Every time I read it, my heart is transformed. I had a particularly emotional response to this phrase at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center for Davvenen Leadership Training Institute.
The Foundation of my Strength is God
To be clear, God is my Rock. The sure foundation to all that I do and all that I aspire to be.
I am a conduit to spirituality because HaShem is near to all.
We are all worthy and we are all needed.
Love permeates the universe. God gives us the strength to live into it.
God is my Redeemer
Every day, every hour, every minute: I have the choice to turn towards God.
God redeems me.
God assures me that my habits do not define me.
God reminds me that my better nature is my true nature.
God redeems me from my inclination towards evil, my Yetzer HaRa.
God has given me the gift of life.
May you feel God’s presence
May today be a day when God consciousness awakens you.
May you know that you are loved just as you are.
May you know you have the strength needed for life’s journey because God is with you.