Today is five days of the Omer, הוד שבחסד, Hod ShebeChesed, Splendor of Covenantal Love.
As Rabbi Finley explains how the sephirot act within material reality, Hod is about creating a beautiful setting for ethereal reality in the material world. It is about putting Enduring Will to Action. Accepting responsibility for the endless dishes and the need to clean your own bathroom and wash your clothes. It is about having a place for everything and putting everything in its place.
Seeking splendor in my fifth week at home…
After a month of social distancing, it means taking small victories where you can. If you don’t manage to clean all of your bathrooms on a timely basis, maybe you thoroughly clean one toilet. When it is the most highly trafficked appliance for a family of three males and a female, that can be a victory unto itself.
It is also about accepting the splendor of the every day. How no matter how much time you spent cajoling your child to do his daily assignments, he ended the day wanting a hug and to hear the Shema. How incredible it is to have the splendor of a deeply committed relationship to hold your place and feed your kids while you run away and pretend you still work in tech or politics for a Zoom happy hour with former coworkers.
Appreciating brief bursts of splendor
The deepest splendor I experience these days is the love of my family. The deeply tangible, fierce, sometimes painful hugs of children. And the complete lack of judgment when I go overboard in playing with the blue eyeshadows of my collection. Take time to appreciate the splendor of the every day reality around you. Try to make time to place your physical reality in a small bit more order than it was when you began reading this post. Soak into how good it is to see a well organized set of drawers.
And recognize that creating order is about making space to pursue covenantal love. There is so little room in a brain for the transcendent when one is surrounded by detritus. Give yourself the freedom of cleaning up after yourself. More than any other change I can make this week, this is the change that will reward me more than can ever be put into words.
This day continues to exist throughout eternity…
Before the day began (or just this morning, depending on what type of day you follow), I meditated into psalm 8 and the strength inherent in suckling babes.