Sephirat Ha’omer

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

Day 5: Hod she b’Chesed

The Blessing (Day 5):
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.

Ha yom chamisha yomim l’Omer.
Today is the fifth day of the Omer.

Week One – Chesed (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Grace)

Day Five – Hod she b’Chesed (Splendor/Clarity/Acceptance within Lovingkindness) – LEFT HIP to RIGHT SHOULDER


Hod is often referred to that of “Splendor”, “Majesty”, and “Glory”.  It symbolizes the intellectual, rational part of the brain as opposed to the emotions that are represented in Netzach. Because it relates to the intellectual aspect of our brain, it forces us to look at things with clarity and ultimately with acceptance. Hod is something that is not as strongly developed in our youth – it is developed and matured over time from our experiences and our understanding of the world and our place in it.

Hod, with its level of clarity, of acceptance, and ultimately of seeing the majesty and splendor in things, helps us to fully give to the world as much Chesed as we possibly can with a full heart. When we can open-heartedly accept the obstacles that exist, we are able to better work through any situation with care and compassion. It is this level of acceptance that allows us to see the true splendor of what we are able to accomplish, how we are able to act with compassion, with caring, with Chesed, even when there are obstacles to manage and overcome. The line between Hod (left hip) and Chesed (right shoulder) crosses through our Tiferet (heart), showing how once we accept our obstacles, once we can still see the splendor and awesomeness of what we are able to still give through our lovingkindness and our compassionate ways, our heart is filled.

If you are feeling like this is very similar, yet slightly different from yesterday’s conversation about Netzach and its influence on Chesed, you are correct. Hod and Netzach are connected in a way that the other sefirot are not. These two sephira, Hod and Netzach, are located as our Left and Right Hip. These two areas are linked physically with our pelvis, and one can not move without influencing the other. We can move our right shoulder independently of the left shoulder, but we can not move our right hip independently of the left hip. Go ahead – give it a try. This is why these two sephirot, although unique, are linked forever as well.

As a meditative practice, take a few deep breaths and consider a challenge that you are currently facing. Something that requires compassion and a loving approach to have the best outcome. What are the obstacles that are possibly preventing a free flow of Chesed to the situation? Rather than look to rationalize that you can ignore this obstacle, accept that this obstacle exists and give yourself permission that you are allowed to be frustrated by where you are in the moment. Then, with that acceptance that this is a problem, consider how you can still open your heart to allow compassion and care to flow through and maybe change the situation. Not everything can be changed easily, but by accepting any challenges as they are is not the same as giving up. It is the step needed to allow you to move forward with Chesed, with lovingkindness in any situation. Often, this alone can make the shift needed to effect a change to any situation.

Published by jesschasen

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

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