Today is forty-seven days, which is six weeks and five days of the Omer in the year 5781. הוד שבשכינה, Hod ShebeShekhinah. Splendor of Divine Presence. Is all this talk of God making you run for the hills? Why does mysticism and explicitly making space for God make so many Jews uncomfortable?
Journey beyond skepticism towards our souls
At the end of the day, I’m not here to convince anyone that a particular book is holy. Nor am I upset if you don’t agree with my descriptions of the Divine. What does frustrate me is how easily some Jews dismiss “mysticism” out of hand, as something so esoteric it has nothing to do with their rational, modern lives. Yet, they’re willing to sing Lecha Dodi on Friday night, welcoming the Sabbath bride with a poem written by a Jewish mystic. We seem to be living through a complete disconnect between the words on the pages of our siddurim and the words in our hearts.
These are the metaphors that connect me to my authentic self. I speak of the Splendor of Divine Presence because it reminds me that my anger is an illusion. Honestly, I worry about our mortality. Grief overwhelms me. I miss beloved colleagues, teachers, and family members. I worry about the people of Israel and Palestine. So I try to sink into this poetry to keep me from screaming in anger. Like I said, the anger is a blanket covering deep, unsettled emotions.
Humility on the journey
Today, Splendor, Hod in Hebrew, refracts the Divine Presence. A character trait often connected to Hod is humility. May I have the humility to accept that some people will never be interested in this blog.