Day 1 of the Omer (count tonight, Saturday 4/7/12)


Chesed b’Chesed
Lovingkindness within Lovingkindness

The first week of the Omer is the week of chesed, divine lovingkindness. It begins with the day of chesed within chesed, lovingkindness squared.

This is the week for reflecting on how love manifests in our lives — divine love, and also human love which is (in my understanding) a reflection and refraction of the love God feels for us. Chesed is limitless love, limitless kindness.

This week we ask: how can I be kinder and more loving? To those I meet — to the people I know, and the people I don’t know — to those who agree with me, and even those who angrily disagree with me? How can I be kinder to myself — how can I do the work of discerning what my heart and soul most need, and then kindly and graciously filling that need for myself? Can I feel, deep in my bones, that the universe is a kind and loving place for me to be? Can I extend lovingkindness to myself, and then once I am feeling whole and healed, extend it to those I meet?

Take a moment to think about compassion and lovingkindness. Remember a moment when someone has responded to you with kindness and love. Remember a moment when you responded to someone else in those ways.

Cultivate lovingkindness today in your heart and your actions. This is the first step toward Shavuot, toward revelation, toward Sinai.

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 melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sfirat ha-omer.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, source of all being, who makes us holy with mitzvot and gives us this opportunity to count the Omer.

Today is the first day of the Omer!


2 responses to “Day 1 of the Omer (count tonight, Saturday 4/7/12)

  1. ruach for melech – a nice touch. I am advertising your counting. Fifty blessings in the Spirit before Pentecost seems good to me. May many visit.

    • I often use ruach and melech interchangeably — though I didn’t mean to use one in the Hebrew and the other in the transliteration; off now to check the future postings and make sure I haven’t replicated that mistake 48 more times!

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