היום שמונה ימים, שהם שבוע אחד ויום אחד, בעמר
Today is eight days, which is one week and one day, of the omer
A day of loving kindness in a week of strength
Whether you're a seven-day Pesach person, or go the full eight, we're all back on bread as of tonight. Now the work of the count really begins, as it stands on its own as a ritual, going forward. We start a new week with the first of the mirrored pairs complete.
Last week, we had strength/gevurah in loving kindness/chesed; today, it's loving kindness/chesed in strength/gevurah. Last week, we were reminded that strength can be gained with an open hand rather than a closed fist. Today, we can realize that loving kindness is not necessarily warm and fuzzy. Sometimes, giving loving kindness means helping someone getting what they need, even if it's not what they want. Other times, receiving loving kindness means being able to hear tough advice from caring friends.
It's not about opposites; it's about working in tandem.