Indwelling of Strength, 14 Days of Omer 5780: Shekhinah ShebeGevurah

Tonight, we will welcome the fourteenth day, which is two weeks, of the Omer 5780. שכינה שבגבורה, Shekhinah ShebeGevurah, Indwelling of Strength.

Strength even when Discipline is beyond my grasp

I am struggling daily to finish my own homework. It isn’t the primary parent duties that keep me from completing my work. I simply lack the discipline to stay focused on graduate-level reading for a sustained period of time. There is still much to appreciate about the strength that surrounds me and is within me. 

My family’s love is fierce.

We are a tight knit crew of four. My kids can go for minutes, almost an hour at a time, amusing themselves without adult supervision. Sure, sometimes that means they’ve opened and created a mess out of five individual servings of pretzels, but for the most part, this is an incredible gift. I have no idea what to feed them half the time, but I know they will never be starved for human interaction. 

My Yetzer HaRa is also strong.

I keep thinking about and hoping to sleep more. Yet, my inclination towards destructiveness, my Yetzer HaRa has incredible strength. She takes over the moment my children are in bed and barely loosens her grip at midnight. I am in awe of her resilience. I hope to talk with her, perhaps reason with her, rather than continuing to pretend she doesn’t exist, or worse, that she is not me. 

The call of Jewish wisdom is the Indwelling of Strength in my life.

My High Holiday liturgy class is reading the Koren Sacks Machzor. I learned a new name for my people on Monday:

Yeshurun. An alternative biblical name for Israel, signifying yashar, “upright” (Ibn Ezra, Deut. 32:15).

From the Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Machzor, p 104. 

What does it mean to be upright? For me, it means acknowledging my inner strength and being grateful for my blessings. It means that when I stray from who I want to be, I remember my vows and return to the path I have discerned for myself.

Being upright means having grace towards myself when I yell at my kids; but never becoming complacent and sinking into the yelling. 

Reminding myself that my lifetime of poor posture does not need to be my future and choosing to honor the strength of my core.

Moving past my fear and wearing my mask and walking my dog. 

Trusting that what I am doing is enough. That I am enough. That the Indwelling Presence of the Divine will gird me with strength to move through this pandemic. 

May we be the Yeshurun we are meant to be. 

Other iterations of this day…

5779 / 2019: Don’t abandon your toys in the search for truth.

5778 / 2018: Hold space for others while asserting your own presence.

5777 / 2017: Transform your understanding of the past; break free of limiting narratives.


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