Sephirat Ha’omer

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

Day 15: Chesed she b’Tiferet

The Blessing (Day 15):
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 chamisha asar yom, shehem shnai shavuot v’yom echad l’Omer. Today is the fifteenth day of the Omer, which makes two weeks and one day of the Omer.

Week Two – Gevurah (Discernment, Restraint, Strength)

Day Fifteen: Chesed she b’Tiferet (Lovingkindness within Harmony) – RIGHT SHOULDER to HEART

We have reached the 3rd week of counting the Omer, which focuses on Tiferet, the sephira of harmony and balance.  Our first week, which focused on Chesed, reminded us to recognize and celebrate the existence of compassion and lovingkindness in our lives.  The second week, which focused on Gevurah, concentrated on considering the strengths needed to assess a situation and discern right action and good judgment.  This third week, the week of Tiferet, reminds us to walk a balanced path and to seek equilibrium in the world around us.  We will work to recognize balance and create harmony this week.

Tiferet is located at the Heart/Sternum, on the centerline of our body which is called the Pillar of Balance. As we consider the word balance, we realize that balance is an active verb, not a passive one.  Learning to walk, riding a bicycle, holding a yoga position, or surfing a wave requires a physical awareness of the subtle shifts of weight necessary to maintain our balance because there are slight changes always occurring around us.  This even is true on the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of our lives.

In Chesed she b’Tiferet, compassion fills our hearts. Our Heart Center (Tiferet) takes and stores the overflowing love of our Compassion (Chesed) in the center of our bodies in an embrace. This provides us with a feeling of balance and harmony that plays out through the rest of our world and our connections with others.

Chesed she b’Tiferet can be felt best through touch, such as when an old person touches the skin of a newborn child, when a gardener nurtures a tender seedling, or when a family member holds the hand of a dying relative.  It is revealed in the acts of tzedakah (righteous charity), for it is by caring for each other that we express our own appreciation for the gift of life.

Especially now, during this very difficult time due to the coronavirus pandemic, we can feel how much we miss this ability to touch and be touched. We are all looking for different ways to still feel that flow of compassion and love to bring us to a place of balance in our lives. It is not easy, nor is it an equal substitute. Today, let us all acknowledge how we miss the opportunity to hold each other’s hand, to give a hug to a friend, and the multiple ways we feel connected to each other and provide our link of lovingkindness and compassion that fills our hearts. It is okay to miss this – it proves that this is something valuable to us, and that we can feel appreciation for this cherished link that is temporarily not there for us in the same way. This, itself, is one of the best ways to honor the Chesed she b’Tiferet connection.

Published by jesschasen

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

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