Shabbat and today

Day 11 (one week and 4 days) : Netzach in Gevurah, Endurance in Discipline
This Shabbat, the fourth and fifth graders in the Hebrew school at the synagogue where I work put on a Kashrut skit. They learned about Kashrut in class, decided together how they wanted to present about it, and wrote the skit themselves. Very appropriate for this Omer day!
Blessing: kids being cute, doing things I enjoy for work
kids

Quoting myself from last year (word for word), because I like what I said…

Day 12 (one week and 5 days) : Hod in Gevurah, Humility in Discipline
When people “discipline” others without humility/humbleness, that is when we run into situations when one thinks he or she is better than another. Tonight marks Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Holocaust was borne from arrogance, judgement, baseless hatred, and the simple (wrong) idea that one type of person could be born better than another. It is our responsibility to remember the 6 million Jews and 5 million other innocent lives that perished, to never forget and to never allow such catastrophes to happen again. I count Omer day 12 to honor their lives and to count them in Jewish memory.
Blessing: love, passing on stories of our ancestors, being taught humility

yomhashoahcandle

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Is today a chag? Is today a chag? What day of the week is it anyway?

I couldn’t “pre-count” the omer, so today’s post is brought to you by chag- overload. The feeling you get when you’ve had more chag/shabbat days than not and you don’t know what day of the week it is anymore.

Day 6: Yesod in Chesed, Bonding/Connection in Loving-kindness
For today, just thinking about a really great song with and even greater message.
Blessing: friends on chag to keep me sane (and not as stir crazy), good music, rent, time
no day

Day 7: Malchut in Chesed, Leadership in Loving-kindness
On the eighth day we say Yizkor. ever since I heard that about these different topics for each day of the Omer, it struck me as a little difficult to find the connection to “leadership and lovingkindness” on a day that turns out to be pretty somber (for me and others) because of Yizkor. Because of that, I used the 7th day of the Omer to remember “ways to show leadership” and “ways to show/do acts of lovingkindness” in honor of those who we say Yizkor for. Doesn’t make the day any less sad, but it’s like a fidget- gave me something to do and think about. 🙂
Blessing: memories, dugmaot

Day 8 (one week and one day) : Chesed in Gevurah, Loving-kindness in Discipline
The week of discipline falls right after we no longer have to eat matzah… so happy chametz everyone. Don’t forget to love it. See what I did there? Well if you want a real “lovingkindness in discipline” connection, I’d say that studying or practicing or learning something just for the love of it fits in here. For that, I’d say that I am #blessed to be #obsessed with Israeli dance. That fits, right? :p
Blessing: #IsraeliDanceFam, Israeli dance, #mustbemavrik, #cult #onlyalittle

 

Shabbat and today

Day 4: Netzach in Chesed, Endurance in Loving-kindness
Omer shoutout(!) and a riddle: What does today’s day of the Omer have in common with DC, blogging, and my increased social media presence in general? Shoutout to Erin Dreyfuss. Not only did she inspire me to start an Omer blog (last year), but last year this Omer day coincided with her Conversary (conversion anniversary). Although it didn’t fall on the same day this year (HAPPY CONVERSARY!), studying to convert takes endurance (patience, passion, devotion, and a million other things) and she brings out those traits in others.
Blessing:  Friends! New experiences 🙂
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Day 5: Hod in Chesed, Humility in Loving-kindness
When I think of “humility in lovingkindness”, I think of relationships between people. It is hard to always so or do the right thing and it is harder to admit when you’ve said something wrong. I don’t particularly like making blanket statements, so instead I’m using today as a restart! (Pesach= spring cleaning and another reason for teshuva and to try to apologize for hurting people.)
Blessing: humility, strength, loved onesrainbow

This year’s omer challenge…

SURPRISE! I’ve decided to dust off the old Omer blog. I don’t remember if I completed counting the Omer through until the end last year (I usually make it until the end or have the anti-climactic OH NO! I forgot 48!), but the blog was surprisingly more difficult because it was my first time trying a daily blog. Let’s see how this year works out…

I said at my second Seder this year that I am excited to count the Omer because it reminds me to count my blessings every day. The Omer reminds us to “count up”, to look at how full our glasses are, and at how far we have come. This year’s omer challenge: find/recognize blessings in every day, and relate them to the Omer themes.

Speaking of which, each of the seven weeks of the Omer is said to have a theme, which I found here.

חסד or Chesed ― Loving-kindness
גבורה or Gevurah ― Justice, discipline, strength
תפארת or Tiferet ― Harmony, compassion, beauty, spirituality
נצח‎ or Netzach ― Endurance, eternity
הוד Hod ― Humility, majesty, glory
יסוד or Yesod ― Bonding, connection
מלכות or Malchut ― Sovereignty, leadership

Each of the seven days of the week goes in the order above as well. (If this part looks familiar, it’s because I stole it from my Day 1 post last year)

Enjoy, or not- I do this for me anyway 🙂

Day 1: Chesed in Chesed, Loving-kindness in Loving-kindness
I was lucky to be surrounded by many of my family members on the first night of Passover. (I know an easy blessing to recognize, right?) The day one blessing that I’d like to mention is that I’m lucky to see my family as often as I do. I know I’m lucky in a lot of other ways. In honor of day one (double whammy day of lovingkindness), I’d like to make some extra people smile (starting with the definitely not embarrassing pictures below), do something good for someone else, and put a little extra good in the world. More people doing more good things can never hurt 🙂
Blessing: Family

Day 2: Gevurah in Chesed, Strength in Loving-Kindness
A friend of mine is doing an inspiring, strong, beautiful act of loving-kindness. She raised $15,000 and is running a marathon for the Brookline Community Mental Health Center. (Shameless plug, Check her out.) During our Passover Seders, we invite “all who are hungry to come and eat…” with an empathy and an openness that is central to to the strength, fortitude, and lovingkindness we have as a People. How many times have we said or heard, “There will definitely be enough food, enough space, don’t worry, come join us.” We have enough room at our tables, and we can have enough room in our hearts to help our neighbors, the millions of Americans who struggle each year with mental illness. Not every illness is visible, but we all have the ability to reach out. You never know the impact you are making.
Blessing: Support

seder

“Let all who are hungry come and eat…”

Day 3: Tiferet in Chesed, Harmony in Loving-kindess
This is all I could think of. I don’t even apologize a little bit. We are all thankful for the riff off.
All of the harmonies.
Blessing: Joy
riff

Day 5: Hod in Chesed, Humility in Loving-kindness

Before the High Holidays is the time when most people are thinking about Teshuva, repentance or apologizing to those they have wronged. We all experience more than one “New Year” other than Rosh Hashanah. We start anew each academic year, on the secular new year, our own birthdays, we celebrate Tu B’shevat (New year of the trees), the tax year is about to renew (I know that one is the most fun)… I could go on. For as long as I can remember, Passover has been a season of renewal as well. Not only for its cleansing reasons, but it also often coincided with the last marking period of school, of family visits, and of many of my family members’ birthdays.

The friends clip below is inspired by Monica and Rachel fighting- we often fight with those we care most about. It takes humility and loving-kindness to do teshuva and it doesn’t need to be a one time a year thing. This renewal/Passover/repentance season brought to you by my being more aware of teshuva possibilities and Phoebe being a… peacemaker. (“Happy thoughts!”)

I’ll be there for you, counting the Omer, Friends-style

Each year as I try to tackle counting the Omer, I try to think of different ways to motivate myself to make it all the way to the end. As I was brainstorming with Erin last week on how I would do this, I had an idea to make a blog and relate each day to something that would make the Omer easier to remember. I haven’t missed an Omer day yet, but I never made the blog. Appropriately enough, on her conversary, Erin inspired me to follow through 🙂 For the remainder of the Omer I’ll be posting each day, relating the day of the Omer either to something from the Friends or to someone in my Chevre (maybe).

Each of the seven weeks of the Omer is said to have a theme, which I found here.

חסד or Chesed ― Loving-kindness
גבורה or Gevurah ― Justice, discipline, strength
תפארת or Tiferet ― Harmony, compassion, beauty, spirituality
נצח‎ or Netzach ― Endurance, eternity
הוד Hod ― Humility, majesty, glory
יסוד or Yesod ― Bonding, connection
מלכות or Malchut ― Sovereignty, leadership

Each of the seven days of the week goes in the order above as well. If nothing else, enjoy the clips over the next seven weeks and looking forward to Shavuot!

(Catching up)
Day 1: Chesed in Chesed, Loving-kindness in Loving-kindness.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and business of every day life. I’m guilty of this, I know. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by love during my Seder on the first night of the Omer, which allowed me to take a break from the stress. In hone of this day of the Omer, I’m going to try to remember that doing something good for someone else everyday is an easy way to spread the good in the world and be reminded that stress passes, business passes and that Chandler and Joey are wrong… there are never too many hugs.

Day 2: Gevurah in Chesed, Strength in Loving-Kindness
I recently heard about Ultimate Peace, is an organization that brings together disadvantaged youth from Palestinian, Arab, and Israeli Jewish communities to learn, play and unite around the sport of ultimate. The organizers of Ultimate Peace bring together disadvantaged youth from Palestinian, Arab Israeli, and Israeli Jewish communities to learn, play and unite around the sport of Ultimate. It facilitates friendship, trust, integrity, leadership, mutual respect and fun.. shameless plug but I think it is pretty great.

Day 3: Tiferet in Chesed, Harmony in Loving-kindess
No explanation needed:

Day 4: Netzach in Chesed, Endurance in Loving-kindness
HAPPY CONVERSARY ERIN!
First day devoted to one of my friends: Today is the anniversary of my friend Erin’s conversion to Judaism. It takes both endurance and love (and dedication, patience, compassion, and a million other things) to take on Judaism the way you have. In addition, at times when our grad program has seemed like it will be going l’netzach (until eternity, see what I did there?), you keep us all sane! Thanks for inspiring me to actually start this blog and happy Omer day 4!
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