Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 11 of the Omer


On the eleventh day of counting the Omer, the fourth day of the second week, we experience Netzach of Gevurah - Endurance of Restraint.


The ruby-throated hummingbird is famous for its lengthy migration in relation to its small size. These tiny birds weigh just three grams and are about 3 1/2 inches long, yet they may migrate as much as 2000 miles from Canada to Central America, and some fly 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico without stopping. They make this strenuous journey every fall and every spring. To fly so far and so long, and also just to keep their wings beating at their normal flight rate of 80 times per second, these little birds need to take in a lot of energy, so they feed on sweet flower nectar five to eight times every hour. And before their migration, they eat even more often, in order to pack on weight before flying for up to two weeks to reach their destination.


Netzach of Gevurah - Endurance of Restraint. How do we maintain our restraint over time? Often, it takes not just one moment, but many moments, many days, many weeks, many months, or even many years of restraint to weather a change or a crisis in our lives and to transform ourselves and our lives into a new reality. We must take in energy and strength frequently, wherever we find sweet nectar, in order to maintain ourselves during our long flight of growth into a new way of thriving and being in the world.


Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam, asher kid-shanu b'mitzvotav, vitzivanu, al sefirat ha'omer.


Blessed are you Adonai our G!d, ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us with mitzvot and commands us regarding the counting of the Omer.


Today is eleven days which are one week and four days of the Omer.


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