COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.
Day 31: Tiferet she b’Hod
The Blessing (Day 31):
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sephirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, G-D, Source of Splendor, You make us holy through your mitzvot, commanding us to count the Omer.
Ha yom echad v’shloshim yom, shehem arba’a shavuot v’shlosha yamim l’Omer.
Today is the thirty-first day, which makes four weeks and three days of the Omer.
Week Five- Hod (Splendor, Glory, Reverberation)
Day Thirty-one: Tiferet she b’Hod (Harmony within Splendor) – HEART to LEFT HIP
The sum is greater than the parts. What a wonderful idea, but how does it translate when considering Tiferet she b’Hod, Beauty within the Splendor? It is the multitude of individual small bits of Beauty that are necessary to produce overall Splendor. I’ll use something from my childhood to illustrate this point.
My father is an avid lover of nature and its wonders, and he instilled this love of awesomeness of the universe in his children through some unconventional ways. I can vividly recall summer afternoons when we would be caught in a rainstorm while driving home from a day of swimming in the local woods. My father knew where each great naturally made swimming hole was from the creeks that flowed in the mountains surrounding our home in the valley of Wilkes-Barre, PA. He would take us and the neighborhood children out for fantastic adventure-filled afternoons away from the cement and tile public pools that were found in the city.
Sometimes on those summer afternoons, we would be caught in a rainstorm. He would pull our car to the side of the road, and we would watch as the raindrops would fall on the front windshield, making a dance as they each took a different path down the glass. Although they essentially were the same chemical composition of oxygen and hydrogen (H2O), each was uniquely awesome, a variation of size and intensity, some reflecting light and shimmering while others remained dark and heavy to the eye. They would play and dance together, creating a beautiful sight, the Harmony of each unique drop combining to create a Splendorous effect, and he would engage us in conversations about the sight and how awesome it was.
To magnify the joy and beauty to be found in this rather “mundane” event, he would have us all get out of the car (we were still in our bathing suits) and play in the rain along the side of the road. He felt it was important for us to remember that we are part of the interplaying beauty and harmony of each unique part of the universe, and that it was appropriate to show our appreciation for it, rather than to hide away from it under umbrellas or in shelter. (Obviously, this would not be in a thunderstorm, although he did love to bring us out to watch lightning on the porch, but that’s another story!) Don’t get me wrong – he didn’t elaborate in those words, yet I know this is exactly what he wanted to impart to us. That we are part of a bigger universe, and that we must appreciate each small piece for what it is as well as what role it plays to create the bigger aspect. The sum is greater than the parts, even when the parts are beautiful themselves.
We can consider this same concept by looking at the amazing way individual people, each with their own strengths and idiosyncrasies, can come together to work toward a wonderful goal. Each individual talent, when pulled together, can create something greater than just the sum of the individual parts. It is Harmony within the Splendor that is the cause of this beautiful magnificent world when brought together in this way.
Today, as Tiferet influences Hod, we remember that all life is a balancing act that contributes to the universe’s impressive and infinite variety, each part interconnected to the dynamic whole.