Monday, April 05, 2010

Spring ahead, Fall back

היום ששה ימים בעמר
Today is the sixth day of the omer
יסוד שבחסד
A day of foundation in a week of loving kindness

I was glad to be able to share Rabbi Lew's thoughts on baseball in yesterday's post. It's not just our mutual love of baseball that brings him to mind right now. One of the foundations of the practice at Makor Or was to create a spiritual path with the cycle of the Jewish ritual--daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Rabbi Lew taught us how to take those cycles and use the stopping points along the way to check inward as we move outward in the world.

It was Rabbi Lew who taught me the connection between Pesach and Yom Kippur, positioned halfway through the year from each other. They are both times when we take stock of our lives. Pesach is liberation, looking forward to the rebirth that comes each spring. Yom Kippur is introspective, looking back as we reflect on our lives at the present moment as we face the harvest of autumn.

This year, as I begin this journey of the omer, I see the connection it has with the meditative practice of Elul. They both are a specific period of time when we take a bit of each day in reflection. With the omer, the time starts after the first bursts of celebration--we experience the liberation, then we take the steps to receive the revelations. In Elul, we start by analyzing the realizations of our present, making our teshuvah, our return to our true selves that we offer on Yom Kippur.

I will revisit this idea this coming Elul to see if I still feel this relationship with the omer. I wish I could share this with Rabbi Lew. But I am so grateful to have the benefit of his teachings that continue to guide me on my path. Zichrono L'vrachoh--his memory continues to be a blessing to me.

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