Day 29 of the Omer

Chesed b’Hod
Lovingkindness within Splendor / Humility

We’re beginning week five of the Omer. This is the week of Hod, which is usually translated as “splendor” or “majesty.” Hod can be experienced in peak moments: the incredible sunset which causes your heart to well over with joy, the ecstatic experience of prayer which sweeps you off your feet.

Some associate hod with submission and humility. Hod can connote a self-abnegation which arises out of awareness that we are not ultimately in charge, that there is a power in the cosmos infinitely greater than we.

Hod can manifest as hoda’ah: gratitude. When we are able to feel gratitude for the gifts in our lives — indeed: for our lives themselves, even when they are painful or difficult — we are embodying a certain kind of hod. (And perhaps when we are not able to feel gratitude, we can relate to hod as submission, releasing ourselves into the reality that gratitude is temporarily inaccessible and letting that be what it is.)

Tonight (Saturday night) at sundown, as we begin the new week, we begin the day of chesed, lovingkindness, within the week of hod, splendor and humility. How can you express your lovingkindness in a splendidly humble way?

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 twenty-nine days, which are four weeks and one day, of the Omer.


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