Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 28 of the Omer

Tonight begins the last day of the third week of counting the Omer - each week this year we are completing a week as we begin Shabbat, and starting a new day of a new week as we end Shabbat. It provides a lovely rounding out of the week, and it means that we are always focusing on Leadership - Malchut, when we get to Shabbat. This week it is Malchut in Netzach - Leadership in Endurance.

No single flower comes to mind today, rather simply the notion of "flowerhood." We enjoy flowers so much because of their beauty, but it is for reproductive purposes that flowers have evolved. In among the colorful (or not) petals and sepals are stamens - male reproductive parts, - which have sacs filled with pollen within which are the male cells, and one or more pistils, female reproductive parts, which contain ovules, which will become the seeds. These are the key reproductive parts of the flower. Without them, it wouldn't matter how beautiful the flowers were, they would be pointless from a functional perspective. Think of the most beautiful flower you can imagine. No, its primary function is not to please your eyes, but to provide for the continuity of the plant species. 

And yet, flowers are beautiful, and their role in bringing serenity to human beholders is not without meaning.

Leadership in Endurance - there is something to be learned from the hidden parts of flowers. They get something done: reproduction. What do we get done that is lasting? If we turn and look behind us, what do we see? What did today bring? What did yesterday bring? What will tomorrow bring? Every single day something is in the trail behind us. Our endurance, our going forward day by day, is, in some way a measure of our ability to persevere. What are the signs of leadership that we see in our lives?

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-eight days which is four weeks of the Omer.

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