Lovingkindness within Boundaried Strength
Today we’re beginning week two of the Omer. Last week was the week to focus on chesed, abundant lovingkindness. This week is dedicated to gevurah, boundary and strength.
This is the week to ask, how does my strength allow me to serve God, to serve my family and my community, to be the self I want to be? Where am I strong, and where can I work on becoming stronger?
Today is the day of lovingkindness within strength or lovingkindness within discipline.
Rabbi Simon Jacobson writes that “Chesed of gevurah is the love in discipline; awareness of the intrinsic love that underlines discipline and judgement. It is the recognition that your personal discipline and the discipline you expect of others is only an expression of love.”
Can you understand the mitzvot as a kind of spiritual discipline, and approach mitzvot today as a way of enacting love and kindness?
This is the eighth 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 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 the eighth day, which is one week and one day, of the Omer!