Sephirat Ha’omer

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

Day 14: Malchut she b’Gevurah

The Blessing (Day 14):
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sephirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, G-D, Source of Strength, You make us holy through your mitzvot, commanding us to count the Omer.

Ha yom arba’a asar yom, shehem shnai shavuot l’Omer. Today is the fourteenth day of the Omer, which makes two weeks of the Omer.

Week Two – Gevurah (Discernment, Restraint, Strength)

Day Fourteen – Malchut she b’Gevurah (Indwelling Presence within Discernment) – BETWEEN FEET/AT MOUTH to LEFT SHOULDER

Malchut is often translated as Kingdom, Dominion, or Sovereignty. It is about Authority, and in relation to Gevurah it can convey a sense of authoritarian strength. However, we can also see how these words can denote loving protection and respectful care-taking.  As I consider this idea, I see an image of an old Kingdom with a castle surrounded by a moat and high walls, with those inside protected by the physical structure as well as the rules of the land. The responsibilities of Sovereignty include making both rules and guidelines, which have significant distinctions.

Rules have clear definitions, making it easy to follow them and easy to know if you’ve broken one. A guideline, however, advises a way of looking at something or suggests that we consider different ideas to shape our actions. For example, a 10pm curfew is a rule. But, “be home at a reasonable hour” is a guideline and is open to interpretation. We use our Indwelling Presence to help us to Discern the right course of action in our world of guidelines and to recognize the rules in our journey that help to shape our lives and steer our course.

The sephira of Malchut is also associated with Shechina, the feminine aspect of the Indwelling Presence of G-D. Malchut she b’Gevurah conveys the fact that the Holy Presence is close to us in all our decisions and judgments. Shechina is sometimes described as having wings. If we imagine those wings wrapping around us as in a hug, we can see how the embrace both restrains our actions and protects us.

Life choices may be made a little easier when we recognize that G-D holds us in a constant, strong, loving embrace. And, as we are created in G-D’s image, we too can hold someone close, protectively, tenderly, and with our own Strength. Today, either physically in your arms or spiritually in your heart, hold someone close in an embrace. Do the same for yourself, wrapping your arms around yourself in a hug and feel how you are made strong by both your own personal Indwelling Presence as well as Shechina, the Indwelling Presence of G-D. 

Published by jesschasen

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

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