Archive for May, 2013

Day 40 Counting the Omer 2013 Hod she b’Yesod

Splendor within Foundation

In Biblical tradition, forty days signifies a sufficient amount of time for major transition to occur (40 days of the Great Flood, Moses on the mountain receiving instruction etc.). As we mark 40 days of Counting the Omer, we recognize that paying attention daily to where we are in the journey of our lives is an important spiritual practice. Each element of our awareness is essential, but when those elements interact, the miraculous is possible. Each day we build the connective tissue of the world we are creating, the varied parts holding each other up.

Today we celebrate the tiny parts of the integrated whole we are co-creating with the Holy One. Each of us plays a part, recognizing we are part of a Great Oneness. After these five weeks and five days of counting, we see glimpses of the possible; we are getting very close to whatever will be revealed to us at Shavuot. It is not just the ancient communal Revelation that is important, though it is, but the personal revelations that appear to each of us, as we are prepared to receive them. May the splendor we recognize today help build the kind of foundation upon which we can stand strongly as we get ready for the great encounter at Shavuot.

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Day 39 Counting the Omer 2013 Netzach she b’Yesod

Endurance within Foundation

The old song “inch by inch, row by row, we’re gonna make this garden grow’ seems appropriate for the theme of this day of Counting the Omer.  Effort, diligence, determination are the necessary building blocks for any strong structure, whether that is a physical one like a house, or a spiritual practice like daily expressions of gratitude.  Today, Shabbat, we recognize that small acts that add up are not necessarily the kinds of work we avoid on Shabbat, but can be smiles, offers of assistance, harmonizing with someone else’s Shabbos melody, shaking hands with a newcomer at services or opening a book we’ve been meaning to read for a long time.  Goals that require slow, steady effort may seem beyond attaining, but, throughout Jewish history, it has been those that have endured.  Jewish history is an unbroken story of endurance, leaving a legacy of a strong foundation for us to build upon today.

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Day 38 Counting the Omer 2013 Tiferet she b’Yesod

Harmony within Foundation

Harmony is a function of more than one factor interacting in a way that enhances the whole. When the factors that influence our lives are in balance, we are more focused, stronger and stand on more stable footing. When our equilibrium is disturbed through challenging life events we could not control, we can find ourselves out of balance. The structures we have carefully constructed from the elements of our lives can become wobbly and unstable. Today we focus on developing and maintaining balance to stabilize our inner structures. Like a highrise building with special foundations characterized by the ability to respond to earthquakes with flexibility, our lives stand on more stable foundations when influenced by balance and harmony.

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Day 37 Counting the Omer 2013 Gevurah she b’Yesod

Discernment within Foundation

Discernment of proper actions is necessary in building anything that will last. The difference between a long lasting rock wall and a pile of rubble is in the accurate selection and placement of stones and meticulous application of mortar. This is also true in our lives: using careful discernment we can build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship, a robust congregation or a sturdy organization.

When we go through long periods of training, we are aiming for excellence. We examine what needs to improve, set goals, gather our determination and take aim. This process, whether sports or professional skills, music or accounting, is very similar. Discernment, applied well, leads to developing a strong foundation upon which a solid future can stand!

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