Today is twelve days, which is one week and five days of the Omer in the year 5781. הוד שבגבורה, Hod ShebeGevurah, Temple of Strength; splendor within power.
My posts usually take inspiration from previous years, so this one has been hard to unravel. I wrote a brief post about Yom HaShoah earlier today. Unless the 27 of Nisan falls near Shabbat, Yom HaShoah is on that day, which is today. So, The Shoah was the focus of my posts for the last two years.
I think I did a particularly good job last year synthesizing the breadth of what I learned about The Shoah and Jew hatred from Dr. Bob Levy, may his memory forever be a blessing. Last year, I took two courses in Jewish history taught by Dr. Levy. He began in late antiquity and moved through the Middle Ages and early modern era in the Fall semester. The Spring semester covered the rest of modern history, with significant time for understanding the origin and history of Israel. The last class was going to be dedicated to wrapping up and synthesizing all that we had learned about the lachrymose history of the Jews.
Unfortunately, we never got that opportunity. Dr. Levy passed away after our penultimate class and my heart still yearns for all the conversations I never had with him. He was one of the most brilliant and passionate scholars I have ever met. I really yearned to learn more from him: to understand more fully his understanding of Jewish history and the current state of our people. Instead, I will continue to keep Jewish history books cracked open, to read during the in-between times when the texts I chose for my thesis overwhelm me.
Temple of Strength
As I’ve mentioned in previous years, Netzach and Hod are twin sephirot — they represent how prophecy enters reality. First, Netzach, the will to be in alignment with the Source of Goodness must prevail. Then, one can build a temple within and a well-ordered exterior world to make space for the Divine.
This can be a day to clear out the literal rubbish from your home. The piles of things being saved for one day that could support another’s journey. Or it can be a day to turn towards the mental detritus of living through a pandemic. Choose one action to help you grow stronger: seek out a therapist or a spiritual director. Perhaps recommit to a journaling practice as a way take ownership of your time. Read a good book or listen to brilliant music.
The clear vision ushered forth by Netzach ShebeGevurah is concretized by the physical choices we make today in Hod ShebeGevurah.