I am still in shock. I haven’t written about what happened in Boston on Monday other than on my Facebook page. But what the city of Boston and our nation experienced is exactly what Israel experiences on a regular basis and throughout the Second Intifada. A bombing on a city street where people were gathered intended to kill and maim. That is what happened in Boston on Monday. My hearts go out to the families who lost loved ones. And my heart goes out to those who were injured. Some still in critical condition. Some who lost limbs. Some who are still in shock. And we still don’t know who the perpetrators of this heinous crime are. We may never know whether it was domestic or foreign terrorism, but we do have to remain a nation committed to our values of equality, liberty and freedom of speech. When terror strikes, the tendency is to clamp down so that these bedrock values won’t interfere in catching the criminals. But we must ensure that America continues to thrive and that our determination to overcome such enmity will happen through the continued heroism of first responders, doctors and nurses, family members and the kindness of strangers on streets who pitched in together to help.
Today we count the omer -the days between Passover and Shavuot-it is a week of Netzach-or endurance. We shall endure and we will outlast and outflank such evil at every turn. Endurance is what a marathoner needs. Let it inspire us all.
Omer blessing today for day 26 – it is a day of hod shebnetzach. Hod sits opposite Netzach on the Tree of Life. Both are the feet-bringing a person to action. Hod is also the place of where form is given language and Netzach is the place of our unconscious desire. Today is the day a day when Hod in Netzach is a day for us to try to reach into our unconscious desire and give it form and language. So be quiet. Meditate today. Let your deepest inner voices be heard. Set aside some time not just for counting but for letting your unconscious desires come forward.
Shabbat Shalom World. Day of Beauty-tiferet, Day of Above all other days! Malchut sheb’tiferet. Ruling in beauty. That is today. Twenty days of the Omer. Sweet Shabbat most beautiful of other days-day of union and rest and renewal.
Today Yom Haaztmaut -Israel’s Independence Day! The renewal of the Jewish homeland in our life time!!!! It is also the 19th day of counting the Omer. Today we also think about the attributes of hod b’tiferet. Hod is splendor and majesty. Tiferet is balance and beauty. The splendor and majestic beauty of Israel is the focus for today. I imagine Mt. Hermon covered in snow. I imagine the sparkling Dead Sea surrounded by the hot desert. I imagine the beautiful sunset on the shores of the Mediterranean near Netanya. I imagine the glorious colors of sandstone at the Machtesh in Mizpeh Ramon. I imagine green valley of the Galill and the rushing waters of the Banyas Spring at Tel Dan. I imagine the jumping playful dolphins of Red Sea in Eilat. I imagine the beauty of Haifa and the glint of the sun on the Bahai Temple surrounded by its glorious gardens. Today we celebrate the Magestic Splendor and Beauty of Israel.
Two weeks and Two days-that is how long we have been counting. For 16 days we have been working on spiritual repair and correction. First within ourselves and then carrying that tikkun into the world. This period of reflection between Pesach and Shavuot are marked with spiritual preparation and purification in order that when we stand at Mt. Sinai we are ready to receive the revelation in its fullness. It will mean that we can see and understand and know the glory of God that revels the truth of Torah and history to us.
Today we reflect on Gevurah sheb’Tiferet Might and strength within Balance and Compassion. Today is a reminder that our strength and absolute power must be mitigated by compassion. Today is a reminder that absolute power and strength can be destructive and so we must use this day to learn the balance of our power and authority. This can make change in a more authentic and spiritual way. All this week each of the sephirot are located in the sephira of Tiferet. Tiferet connects all the sephirot and is at the core of the Tree of Knowledge. This beautiful and balanced ideal helps bring out the various sephirot in a safe and beautiful way. Tiferet balance Compassion and Strength. Try that today.
Day seven of the omer! A whole week of counting has happened. The first week. The week of Chesed-lovingkindness. Did you practice it? Today is Malchut b’Chesed Soverienty in lovingkindness… how do you wield power? Our tradition teaches that even for the Holy One of blessing that compassion outweighs strict justice. Be careful how you treat others over whom you have power and authority. Treat all with lovingkindness.
The future is unknown. But today is day four of the Omer and teaches us Netzach b’Chesed: Eternity, perseverance with loving-kindness. We can’t know the future, we can try and control its outcome but the truth is that it is beyond our control. We can ultimately only control our own actions and reactions. Netzach b’Chesed reminds us to pursue our future but do so surrounding yourself, grounding yourself in gentleness, in kindness and love. With this grace you will shape your future in a holy way. Today day four-teaches us not to struggle in fear or anger. But to use our own inner quiet, thoughtfulness and love to pave the pathway to eternity!