Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 10 of the Omer

On this third day of the second week of counting the Omer, we focus on the Divine Attributes of Tiferet - Harmony - in Gevurah - Restraint.

Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat….. We hear the woodpecker before we see it. Its insistent tapping alerts us to its presence,  and careful searching reveals the long-beaked bird clinging to a tree trunk, drilling a hole in search of insects or grubs. The woodpecker is an important link in keeping the ecosystem in balance -- it is a part of the web of life that includes dead and decaying tress, within which are found insects and other creatures that live in the dead wood.

We, too, are part of an ecosystem. We are part of the Earth's physical ecosystems and we are part of a spiritual ecosystem. Our presence in the former behooves us not to take more than our share, but to restrain ourselves in order to keep the planet in balance, with enough food and water and air and space for even the tiniest of the Earth's ecosystem's members. Our presence in the spiritual ecosystem demands no less. By keeping ourselves in balance, by maintaining harmony between lovingkindness and restraint, between giving and holding back, between taking and giving, between presence and absence, we help maintain our own spiritual well being and that of those around us.

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 ten days which are one week and three days of the Omer.

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