היום שלשה ועשרים יומים שהם שלשה שבועות ושני יומים לעמר
Today is the twenty-third day of the omer - three weeks and two days
A day of strength in a week of endurance
During the omer count of 5767 (2007) I wrote about the insight I had about Gevurah--the quality of strength. It was something that I learned while counting in 2002 while going through chemotherapy. I wrote:
It was Gevurah-the sephirot of strength-that resonated most deeply with me that year. So often the symbol of strength is a closed fist. But that year I learned how much strength there is in an outstretched, open palm. It is very difficult for many otherwise self-sufficient cancer patients to rely on others for help. But there are so many people around you at that time who want to help. The ability to ask for and accept the help you need represents a strength as great, if not greater, than any boxer's punch.This year, I'm learning another seemingly counter-intuitive aspect of Gevurah. Within the symbolic icon of the closed fist is the connotation of holding tight, holding strong. But it often takes an equal amount of strength, if not more, to be able to let go. The longer a fist remains clenched the more effort it takes to release. The longer I remain in a rut, the more I hold on to the weights that keep me there.
I need to find my gevurah, my strength to let go of those constraints that are keeping me down. Once I release that heavy load, I will be able to more clearly see the path ahead.