Lovingkindness within Sovereignty
We’re entering the final week of the counting of the Omer: the week of malkhut. Malkhut means something like kingship or kingdom — in a gender-neutral term, sovereignty. This is the week of divine kingdom.
The term “kingdom of God” may be more comfortable for Christians than for liberal Jews. When we hear it, many of us think of The Lord’s Prayer — “for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory” — and these don’t feel like Jewish ideas to most of us.
But they are Jewish ideas! We use these words in our liturgy every day (though in Hebrew, so they don’t push the same buttons for us which may be pushed by the English terms of Christian liturgy.) And these weeks of the Omer have been a journey through these facets of God. Glory — that’s tiferet, week three. Power — that’s gevurah, week two. And kingdom is malkhut, the week we’re beginning now.
Malkhut is deeply associated with the Shekhinah, the immanent indwelling divine Presence of God which is understood as feminine.
And today is the day of chesed, lovingkindness, within the week when we meditate on God’s sovereignty. Can we experience God as a king (or queen) of lovingkindness in our lives?
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 forty-three days, which are six weeks and one day, of the Omer!