Endurance within Foundation
Tonight (Tuesday night) we begin the day of endurance within foundation and connection. As the Omer count draws ever nearer to its close, we need endurance; we need perseverance to connect us with our foundation, with our history, with our roots.
This moment on the Omer count invites us to reflect on how we might create an enduring foundation, an enduring sense of connection: with the earth, with our ancestors, with the Torah, with God, with our highest and deepest selves.
In her Omer book, Rabbi Min Kantrowitz writes:
In contemporary culture that prizes reward and quick action, conscientious industry can seem odd or peculiar. The pace of the snail is ridiculed when one is focused on quarterly earnings and fifteen second sound bites. Goals that require slow, steady growth may seem unattainable, impractical, or inane. Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro, organizing a spiritual community in the Warsaw Ghetto, addressed this issue: “Our goal is to gradually rise above the noise and tumult of the world, by steady incremental steps…. Our bodies and souls are currently quite unevolved, but our potential for holiness is very great.”
As I count the Omer, let my counting create a tikkun, a healing, between transcendence and immanence, God far above and God deep within.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הַעולָם, אָשֶר קִדשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ אַל סְפִירַת הַעמֶר.
Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu ruach ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sfirat ha-omer.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, breath of life, who makes us holy with mitzvot and gives us this opportunity to count the Omer.
Today is thirty-nine days, which are five weeks and four days, of the Omer!