On this 39th day of the Omer, we reflect on Endurance in Bonding - Netzach in Y'sod.
The fall foliage in New England is stunning. Bright reds and oranges and yellows take one's breath away. In the Midwest, where oaks predominate, the colors are more subdued - yellows, yes, but softer shades of burgundy, salmon, and coral, and much less commonly the brilliant scarlet, crimson, and tangerine that we see here.
But no matter what color the leaves turn in the autumn, sooner or later they all fall to the ground. Left behind are bare trees, less interesting, at first glance seemingly lifeless.
But the trees are still alive. They go dormant to survive the winter, but they are alive. We can take the opportunity of the lack of leaves to focus more closely on other parts of the tree that we might not notice at the height of summer - the bark, the pattern of the branches, the shape of the dormant buds. And, as my mother would say, without the leaves on the trees, we can see into the woods and get a better view of the landscape. We get a whole different view of the forest. We can see the trees. And it is the trees that make the forest.
Endurance in Bonding. Sometimes our loved ones are clothed in the brilliant beautiful colors of a New England autumn. Sometimes they wear the quieter colors of the oak forest autumn. Sometimes they wear the many shades of green of the spring or the summer forest. And sometimes they seem naked, like the deciduous forest in winter. But if we look closely, we will see the dormant buds and the bark of our loved ones. And we will see the trees that make the forest in which we live, and that will be a Divine gift.
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 thirty-nine days which is five weeks and four days of the Omer.