Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 22 of the Omer

As we come to the end of Shabbat, we being the fourth week of the Omer, during which the focus is on Netzach  - Endurance, Longevity, Hanging in There. On this 22nd day, we consider the Divine Attributes of Chesed in Netzach  - Lovingkindness in Endurance.

During this fourth week, images of and meditations on flowers will frame our consideration of the Divine Attributes.

I remember from my childhood the pasque flower. In dry prairies of the Upper Midwest and the West, the pasque flower is the first to bloom in the spring, its purple flowers sometimes poking up through early spring snow. My father knew where to find the pasque flowers, and when, and it was a rite of spring in my family to go in search of them. We always found them, along with the admonition to be alert, for rattlesnakes liked the same kind of territory, and the warm sunny days that brought the pasque flowers into bloom were the same kind of days that the rattlesnakes liked to be out sunning themselves.

We never saw a rattlesnake, but we always found the pasque flowers, one, two, three, and then another and another, delicate, exquisite - spring was truly on its way.

Endurance, keeping on going, hanging in there despite the difficulties of the moment. Every year, the pasque flowers were there. We didn't have to go in search of them, but we did. We sought out the beauty, we sought out the wonder. That search is how we transform endurance from a heavy burden to something light, something filled with love and kindness and joy.

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

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