Friday, June 06, 2008

Omer 5768 - Day 47; 6 weeks and 5 days

Today is Hod she b'Malchut - a day of humility in a week of majesty.

I've listed the count to honor the omer and those who have maintained the count. I managed to keep it going in the midst of my heavy workload but lost it in the aftermath of release from obligations. It's unrealistic to think I will keep the complete omer count every year, and accepting that is a teaching in itself. There are always things that fall through the cracks, things we mean to do but just don't get to. It's important to remember that those things don't have to be lost. We can pick them up again--in different times, in different forms, in different ways.

Sunday night is Shavuot, the time of the giving of the Torah, the time of revelation. But revelation is just the key--the true work of life is ongoing. As we discussed last night at a Shavuot study group led by Rabbi Dorothy Richman, the spiritual cycle is about emptying and filling. The counting of the omer represents the time between Pesach and Shavuot, from the freeing time of liberation from Egypt, Mitzrayim, the "narrow place," to that moment when we all stood at Sinai, receiving those words by which we live, filling our souls.

Throughout our lives we need to live that cycle. We need to figure out where we can empty, freeing space within us to fill with the revelations that help us travel our path. It's not always easy--even the most learned among of has had to deal with finding the balance. But, as always, it is not the endpoint but the journey that makes the difference.

Behold, I am a creature of this world.
I was created with two eyes and two arms.
All of my limbs and organs are healthy.
Yes, I have no idea for what purpose I was created,
or what I am supposed to fix in this world.
Rabbi Chanoch Henich of Alexander

I can tell you what should not be done--
But as for what should be done...
That is something we all must figure out for ourselves.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk

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