Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 23 of the Omer

Tonight, as the second day of the fourth week of counting begins, we consider the Divine Attributes of Gevurah in Netzach, Restraint or Discipline in Endurance.

I think of the marsh marigolds, harbingers of spring in New England, blooming this year, like everything else, so much earlier than usual. These flowers are bright and shining yellow, like large buttercups, with rounded glossy green flowers.  The plants emerge from shallow water or grow on small mounds that hold the plant just above the water level, with the roots constantly moistened by standing or slow-moving water. A marsh not far from my home is blanketed with marsh marigolds  every spring. What a delight to come around the corner and see dozens and dozens of cheerful green plants, each with a dozen or more large yellow flowers. 

Marsh marigolds cannot survive if the water is drained away. They need to keep their feet wet all the time in order to grown and bloom afresh each spring.

We too, need certain things in order to keep blooming. Our needs are not as clear cut as are those of the marsh marigolds, and far more choices confront us. Do we need that extra cookie? Do we need that extra gift - either given or received? Do we need foods that are not good for our bodies? Do we need all the material items in our homes? The chances are that the answer in most if not all cases is NO. In order to keep going as an individual, in order for our communities, both human and ecological, to survive, in order for our planet to endure as a place that is suitable for life as we know, we may need to exercise restraint more often than we do. We may need to distinguish more clearly between our wants and our needs.

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 twenty-three days which is three weeks and two days of the Omer.


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