COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.
Day 17: Tiferet she b’Tiferet
The Blessing (Day 17):
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 shiva asar yom, shehem shnai shavuot shlisha yamim l’Omer. Today is the seventeenth day of the Omer, which makes two weeks and three days of the Omer.
Week Three – Tiferet (Harmony, Balance, Beauty)
Day Seventeen: Gevurah she b’Tiferet (Harmony within Harmony) – HEART to HEART
There is a common idiom in the English language – in your heart of heart(s), which refers to the deepest depths of one’s conscience or emotions. What we find there is often a surprise even to ourselves. Prayer can be a wonderful way to reach this area deep inside of ourselves and see the truth that lies within. The Hebrew word that means “to pray” is l’hitpallel. It is a reflexive verb, meaning that it refers to the self and not to an external entity or attribute. Although we are often praying to our G-d, for many of us we know that we are also praying to G-d to help us to make our own way through whatever our situation. Praying is a way to access our own deepest inner strength, searching within ourselves for the answer we know exists there.
Tiferet she b’Tiferet is the pairing of intimate reciprocity as we try to align ourselves in perfect balance, being true to our Heart of Heart. When we know ourselves well, we appreciate our best qualities, strive toward improvement and forgive ourselves when necessary. We love ourselves with full knowledge of who we are and wish to be. We aspire to cherish those we love the same way.
Today, take a moment to sit quietly, take a few deep, cleansing breaths, and close your eyes. Listen intensely to what you hear both around you as well as what you hear coming from within yourself. When ready, open your eyes and really observe what is in front of you. Consider what you heard within your heart of heart, the true center of your inner harmony. As you go on with your day, be true to what you hold in your heart’s core. Focus on knowing and accepting your own inner beauty, bringing together that inner vision and our external reality on the path toward wisdom.
*Inspired by Rabbi Min Kantrowitz’s book “Counting the Omer: A Kabbalistic Meditation Guide”