Sephirat Ha’omer

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

Day 6: Yesod she b’Chesed

The Blessing (Day 6):
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 shisha yomim l’Omer.
Today is the sixth day of the Omer.

Week One – Chesed (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Grace)

Day Six – Yesod she b’Chesed (Foundation within Lovingkindness) – GENITALS to RIGHT SHOULDER

Yesod is Foundation, that which everything is built upon.  It is also the sephira of reproductive energy, of sexual energy, which is why it is located in the region of the genitals.  Yesod is the Foundation of generations to come. Yesod she b’Chesed brings awareness of the future, the generative energy of continuity, within Lovingkindness. Yesod is so completely linked to the creation of things, and when linked within Chesed, anything we create, including future generations, can be positive and filled with great possibility.

As we consider Yesod she b’Chesed, it is a perfect time to reflect on our foundational values. Are we exerting compassion and caring in a way that is reflective of our inner foundation, the sacred ground upon which we have developed into the person we are deep inside? Are we reflecting our true selves by our acts of lovingkindness in the world? We all have probably experienced the situation where we act appropriately because we know it’s the right thing to do (our foundation keeps us in check), but we might not have done it with the full amount of compassion and caring that would really have been an outward show of who we really are inside. This usually happens when we are overwhelmed, when we are exhausted. I take comfort in knowing that my foundation is strong and will carry me through moments like that, yet I appreciate the gentle reminder to engage Chesed in these acts. This is what changes both the feeling for the recipient of our deeds as well as our own feeling about doing the right thing.

Pharoah’s Heart

As a meditative practice, take a few deep breaths and consider how you can access and strengthen your spiritual foundation to keep it strong. Doing this, building your foundation in kindness can give you the inner strength to keep moving forward. We understand that if we withdraw ourselves emotionally from other people and their problems, we internally can become hard and harsh. I find myself hearing the portion from the Haggadah where “G-d hardened Pharoah’s heart” and appreciate the philosophical commentaries I’ve read about this troubling passage. My favorite interpretation is that Pharoah actually hardened his own heart many times by his actions, creating deeper damage to his foundation each time by not treating the slaves with any understanding or kindness (without Chesed). Over time, his foundation became such that it was no longer allowing him to be open to hearing G-d. In this way, Pharoah actually hardened his own heart against G-d. May you be reminded of the strength of your own foundation and the benefit to yourself and to others when you act on your core beliefs with compassion and kindness.

Published by jesschasen

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

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