Archive for April 28th, 2013

Day 34 Counting the Omer 2013 Yesod she b’Hod

Foundation within Splendor

The foundations of our lives are built on our cumulative experience and the knowledge we have gathered along the way.  We are all several ’selves’– our most private self of inner thoughts and responses, our ‘family self’, our ‘friend self’, the self we display at work, in the neighborhood or at public events.  Each is a response to a different set of expectations, yet each is also based on a foundational self–the one that is our ‘bottom line’ of ethical behavior, of automatic caring and of our deepest loves.  Today we remember that underpinning of all of our selves…the yesod that holds us up, in all of our splendor.

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Day 33 Counting the Omer 2013 Hod she b’Hod

Splendor within Splendor

Shavua tov! Today is Lag b’Omer, the special holiday that is celebrated on the 33rd day of the counting toward revelation. We can find many explanations for the holiday, but I want to focus on how it is marked today – with picnics and outdoor events. We celebrate the diversity of nature as evidence of the splendor in our world. Appreciation implies responsibility. Today, this means responsibility for preserving the diversity of nature so that future generations will be able to appreciate it. Climate change is real. In Israel, Lag b’Omer picnics are usually accompanied by campfires– but this year wildfires are raging. In other locations, lovely picnic groves have become surrounded by dying vegetation. We can, appropriately, look at Lag b’Omer as a call to environmental action.

Rav Kook says: The whole is constituted of numberless particulars, particular individuals and particular communities The whole cannot achieve its highest fulfillment except through the perfection of its particular individuals, and the particular communities, whether large of small, of which it is constituted.” Communities of plants, insects, mammals, trees and humans all count as part of the splendor we celebrate today.

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