COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.
Day 30: Gevurah she b’Hod
The Blessing (Day 30):
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 shloshim yom, shehem arba’a shavuot v’shnai yamim l’Omer.
Today is the thirtieth ay, which makes four weeks and two days of the Omer
Week Five- Hod (Splendor, Glory, Reverberation)
Day Thirty: Gevurah she b’Hod (Strength within Splendor) – LEFT SHOULDER to LEFT HIP
Maturity and acceptance are connected with the theme of this thirtieth day of the Omer, Gevurah she b’Hod. We use Discernment to understand and accept how the world really works, the underlying configuration of the universe. Informed choice is important whether we are choosing a career or ordering off a comprehensive menu at the deli. In each case, regardless of being momentous or minor ones, we appreciate the opportunity we have to choose from many Splendid options. Discerning which choices are right for who we are at different stages of our lives is a Gevurah she b’Hod task.
Today we are reminded to use our own strengths carefully, restraining the tendency to lose sight of the forest while contemplating the magnificence of one particularly marvelous tree. To avoid being overwhelmed by Splendor, we must focus well, Discerning the appropriate options for this time and place. In our personal lives, we recognize that internal strength is necessary to know that as our needs change, hanging on to old approaches dishonors our ability to grow.
Today’s theme touches me personally in relation to my career path(s), amplified even more this year. As a child born in the late 1960s, I always would tell my mother that, although I appreciated the work done by her generation to ensure more options for me as a woman in the US, I felt completely overwhelmed at times at the vastness of the choices I could make. The Splendor of what was available to me meant that I had to truly consider just what I wanted in life – that I had to Discern what path was the right one for me. I became a hospital pharmacist after high school, and worked happily for 10 years in that world. As I grew older, more options were put in my path, and yet again I found myself making a choice – I became a mother. I tried to continue my pharmacy career, but within me, something wasn’t right – it no longer fit me. Thankfully, I was able to let go of that “old approach”, and after a few turns, I found a new path to journey on – I became a massage therapist, working directly with people in need of my skills. After 10 years doing that wonderful work, I found myself in need of another decision to be made. My health was compromised and required me to rethink what I could do. I stopped the work, spent a few years with physicians finding a way to heal my fibromyalgia body (or at least control it) and then another moment came to my world to decide what to do. Currently, I am working with our synagogue in a new high-level position as I try my best to help them navigate not just changes in the temple, but in the world as well. Although none of us are positive of each choice we make and if it’s the right one every time, I am so happy to know that Gevurah she b’Hod is here for me if and when I need it to discern what I can and should do, allowing me further growth, both in my work life as well as in all aspects of myself, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. I am very happy that today, as I consider this theme, I can look back on choices I have made and feel proud and content with them. This doesn’t mean that the Splendid variety of options not chosen are somehow bad or wrong, just that for myself, at each phase of who I am, I had the strength to Discern the right one for myself out of the diversity.
Today, consider a time when you were faced with a variety of tempting choices and you chose well. Feel proud of making that decision. If you find that the decision you made no longer fits you, take a step to consider the options you may have out of the vast and diverse possibilities. It can be something major in your life, or something relatively minor, such as choosing to try the chicken marsala at your favorite restaurant instead of your usual chicken parmigiana. Just being open to the idea that there is a glittering array of possibilities available to us in our life, and that we are in control of using our strengths to discern the best one for us is a wonderful thing.