Sephirat Ha’omer

COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.

Day 2: Gevurah she b’Chesed

The Blessing (Day 2):
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b”mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sephirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, G-D, Source of Lovingkindness, You make us holy through your mitzvot, commanding us to count the Omer.

Hayom shnai yomim l’Omer.
Today is the second day of the Omer.

Week One – Chesed (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Grace)

Day two – Gevurah she b’Chesed (Strength/Discernment within Lovingkindness) – LEFT SHOULDER to RIGHT SHOULDER

Gevurah she b’Chesed, also stated as Strength (or Discernment) within Lovingkindness. It’s about recognizing that our desire to give our love in its entirety, without any kind of boundaries, can result in something that is actually dangerous to ourselves. We shouldn’t ignore our own needs for the needs of another, at least not in an extended time frame. It’s not about putting your “wants” ahead of others, but recognizing that you can not give ALL of yourself out of love without reserving some piece to sustain yourself.

The amazing people who are giving of themselves to all of us right now during the COVID-19 pandemic MUST NOT give so much of themselves that they are destroyed in the process. If they work only out of lovingkindness (Chesed), doing things just for the purpose of providing free-flowing care, there would be no structure or direction, no plan to how to provide the most without burning themselves out in the process.

I love that Gevurah is at our Left Shoulder, and Chesed is at our Right Shoulder. I think of it in terms of when we work out with a weighted pulley system. If I only work with my right arm, holding onto a pulley that has more and more pounds added to it, I will eventually topple to the right from the sheer weight. But, if my left arm is holding onto another pulley in the other direction of similar or equal weight, I am able to remain relatively upright and equalized.

As a meditative practice, take a few deep breaths while sitting in a comfortable place.  Breathe slowly, and with each breath focus on how G-D provides us exactly what we need, no more, no less.

Gevurah provides the clarity of the edges and boundaries of flowing Chesed.  Together, they dance in balance, providing exactly what is needed at the right time.

Jodie Gates and Peter Quanz

Published by jesschasen

Temple Emanuel Sisterhood - Past President 2019-2020 Temple Emanuel - Interim Executive Director

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