Posts Tagged ‘Omer’

Tonight we counted Day 22  of the Omer, which is 3 weeks and one day of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Chesed sheh b’Netzach or loving-kindness within endurance.


Tonight I lit a yizkor candle for my mother. She was never emotionally healthy, but she was still the woman who gave birth to me. 

My hope and my prayer is that wherever her spirit lies, may it be full of peace. Peace never came to her in life, perhaps it came to her in death.

For years, I was tormented by mother’s life and then later her death.  She was so profoundly ill that she was unable to act as a healthy mother should; her spirit must have been broken.

Tonight I realized that for the first time in my life, I felt completely neutral to the pain and darkness that my mother’s presence perpetrated in my life.  Somehow, I have found the endurance to find it in my heart to move forward; I have also found it in my heart to wish peace for her spirit.

Chesed sheh b’Netzach – May it be so 





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Tonight we counted Day 21  of the Omer, which is 3 weeks of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Malkhut sheh b’Tiferet or Shekhinah within truth.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance, harmony, and ultimately truth.  And Shekhinah is a way of looking at Malkhut (meaning kingdom).  When God or godliness dwells in one central location, you have a kingdom.

Gan Yarok  Marin County Cemetery Califonria

Gan Yarok:  Marin County Cemetery in California
So much loss. . . .yet light can emerge.

As we mourn the tragedy of the Boston Marathon or the death of 25 people mostly women and children murdered in Syria yesterday, it is important for us to remember that when we pool our hearts and souls together, we can still create the presence of Shekhinah wherever we are.  Loss is not beautiful; none of us yearn to feel the depth of despair.  My prayer for those of us they feel the national or even personal tragedy is that we do are part to ease the pain just a little.  By easing the pain for others, we are finding the Shekhinah within the beauty  or the Tiferet that does exist.

Last night my sons and I went to the Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) Service at our local Jewish Community Center.  There was nothing easy about that experience, but I felt the Shekhinah during each and every moment that we remembering those soldiers lost in service to Israel.

Tiferet can be also be found when I chant with others, hang with friends, go to services, take an art class, learn Torah, and hang with those I love!  Wherever the Shekhinah dwells, Tiferet  remains.

Life is hard; I wish it weren’t. Even if with that, may we be blessed to stand with  Malkhut sheh b’Tiferet wherever we trael..

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Tonight we counted Day 20  of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 6 days of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Yesod sheh b’Tiferet or foundation within truth.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance, harmony, and ultimately truth.

There is nothing more beautiful in the world than truth.  That doesn’t mean it is always happy or good, but it does mean that the rawness has the capacity to touch those that are open to it.  Have you ever:

  • heard a touching song or prayer performed or shared by someone who feels each and every note?
  • heard a baby or toddler’s laughter?
  • felt the comfort of a friend during a particularly hard time in your life?
  • read a book that resonates in the core of your being?seen a piece of artwork that takes your breath away?
  • experienced a moment when your story, your teaching, your song has touched nearly every person in an environment?
  • listened to a person who lives by their values and wants to share their wisdom with you?

The list goes on and on; if our heart and eyes are open, beauty surrounds us whenever we take a moment to be fully present and to  experience that which surrounds us.

As we stand strong, our foundation allows the renewal of our body and our spirit.

As we stand strong, our foundation allows the renewal of our body and our spirit.

Lately, I have become aware of how much I love people; ok, I have always known that :).  But now I am admitting that I love to be with people that are mostly able to be fully present and ‘real’ in their interactions with me and the world around them.   Nothing in life is 100%, but I’d like to see it happen more rather than less.    Life is full and I prefer having more meaningful interactions with people (especially good friends).  The fullness of these kind of connections feels so much more authentic within my life as they strengthen my yesod, my foundation.

May we surround ourselves with a foundation that leads to stronger connections and truth.

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Last night, we counted Day 18 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 4 days of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Netzach sheh b’Tiferet or endurance within beauty.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance and harmony too.

Besides being the 18th day of the counting of the Omer, it is also 3 Iyar.  For most of you, it might not mean too much for me, it leaves me reflective as I embrace reality.  I love counting the Omer, each day gives me tools to look inward while focusing on different aspects of my journey.  In Netzach sheh b’Tiferet,I am able to find how endurance has brought me to a beautiful and balanced foundation; endurance has helped me ride waves and find my own center.  This reality has been true time and time again as I have faced life’s challenges.  But last night, I felt it even more.

For me, the month of Iyar (Jewish month) from the beginning until my mother’s yahrzeit (the anniversary of her death) on 7 Iyar is profoundly rough on my spirit.  My body responds to Iyar before I even know it is here.  I mourn the loss of the mother I never had; I crave the time to curl up in a ball  allowing my pain to move through me; and I feel sadness.  The funniest part about all this is that each year, I am surprised by what is happening to me internally until suddenly I notice the date and then I realize my spirit knows what my mind doesn’t yet absorb.  The subconscious mind is a powerful tool.

When I think of Netzach sheh b’Tiferet, I realize that incredible endurance and fortitude that has brought me to this time.  There is a beauty within my very being that soars because I have found a way to navigate what was and what continues to be.  That knowledge helps me walk through the world as I do and allows me to touch people in positive ways; my energy is often a positive force within the world I live.

Light emerges out of darkness.

Light emerges out of darkness.

While painful things were done to me and experienced by me because of my mother’s actions, I have still found a way to become a light to others.  The darkness I have suffered didn’t destroy my spirit.  In fact, I found the sparks wherever I could and created more light.  Endurance.  I am alive and thriving in every way and in most every interaction.

So while I shed tears last night as I heard the Mourner’s Kaddish (prayer), I also know that my experience as Marilyn’s daughter made it possible for me to become the person I am.  My spirit’s endurance and my inner light will continue to grow and shine.

My prayer for each of us is that we have a life of ease and goodness, but if times get tough:

  • May we each find the sparks that help us navigate the darkness.
  • May we find the endurance we need so that we may ultimately thrive.

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Tonight, we counted Day 17 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 3 days of the counting of the Omer.  Tonight’s counting is referred to as Tiferet she-b’Tiferet.  There are so many ways to reflect on this particular Sefirat haOmer, counting of the Omeer.  Tiferet means many things and each of those things can be perceived in multiple ways.  The primary definitions or interpretations include beauty, harmony and balance.  With each definition, I imagine both the physical, spiritual, and kinetic characteristics.  Funny how challenging it is to come up with a meaning of a simple little phrase.

  • Beauty within beauty
  • Finding beauty with in balance
  • Harmony within balance
  • Creating balance through harmony
  • Balance within beauty (creates) harmony
  • and more. . . . .

For me, balance comes when we look deeply in ourselves and in others so that we may ultimately be part of creating harmony.  Balance is about taking firm steps, conscious steps to create the intense beauty that can only align when we fully engage in life.  Balance comes from movement.

Sunrise in Topsail, NC courtesy of Wendy Delson

Sunrise in Topsail, NC: Balance, Beauty, or Harmony?
courtesy of Wendy Delson

Have you ever noticed how beautiful a sunrise at the ocean can be?  Breathtaking.  True harmony comes  together with each sunrise and with each tide.  To stand by the water and feel the universe’s breath as the wind blows the cool air, the sand, and the spray of the ocean. Harmony come when balance meets beauty.

Tiferet she-b’Tiferet – May beauty surround you wherever you are.  May you find balance in life’s gentle movements.  Notice the harmony that exists as you walk in the world.

Breathing deeply!

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Tonight, we counted Day 16 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 2 days of the counting of the Omer.  We refer to today as Gevurah she-b’Tiferet; strength within harmony, balance, and/or beauty.

Over the years I have noticed that when I live in a place of inner strength, spiritual balance or harmony follow close behind.


Inner strength comes from a variety of sources for me, including, but not limited to:

  • Having integrity with each thing I say or write
  • Exhibiting courage by thinking and acting as consciously
  • Being present for those that need me
  • Taking care of my body, mind, and soul by doing that which nourishes me and refraining from that which depletes me
  • Believing that all will be ok even when life’s challenges feel overwhelming

Balance comes from doing our best to create sacred or holy environments.

With each step I take in the world, may I remember to ask: What am I doing for myself, my community (however I want to interpret that), and the world?

Gevurah she-b’Tiferet (strength within harmony or balance) comes from living consciously.  May we all do our part.



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Tonight, we counted Day 15 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 1 day of the counting of the Omer.  We refer to today as Chesed she-b’Tiferet; loving-kindness within harmony, balance, and/or beauty.

Aryeh and DoviSurrounded by Chesed she 'b'Tiferet.

Aryeh and Dovi
Surrounded by Chesed she ‘b’Tiferet.

For me to understand the full scope of Tiferet, this week’s focus, I have to first reflect on chesed and gevurah.  On one hand, I have felt loving-kindness, on the other hand, I have felt strength.  Only when I tie these two concepts together do I have an opportunity of finding balance or harmony.  So for the last two weeks, I have focused on different ideas that support, loving-kindness and strength.  Perhaps now I am ready to fully embrace finding my center.

When I put my tefillin on my head, there are two straps that fall on either side of my head and over my shoulders.  I refer to one as chesed and the other as gevurah.  Within my daily practice of life, I need to seek both loving-kindness and spiritual strength before I can fully trust the rhythm that surrounds me, the rhythm that encompasses my inner and outside worlds.

I love that the focus of today’s counting Chesed she-b’Tiferet  resonates within me.  The journey hasn’t been easy, but it is part of life nonetheless.  The theme of the day was revealed over the last several hours when I had multiple opportunities to be present and available to others.  Allowing my spirit to be fully present for others showed me that even for a moment, I can be in a place of Tiferet.  

As tonight turns into tomorrow, I am looking forward to waking up to hike gently, eat good foods and drink lots of water. I am also looking forward to having amazing interactions with whomever crosses my path and being fully present to whatever comes my way.  In order to really create loving-kindness within the harmony, I need to care for my own rhythm even as I care for the rhythms that surround me.   Only in that way will beauty prevail.

As we experience life with others, may we feel both inner harmony and outer harmony with each and every step we take.

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