3000 years ago at this time there was such rejoicing inIsraelbecause the first crops of the year were being harvested. The Barley harvest had happened and we were counting the days until the wheat harvest. We were also remembering the wilderness quest. After our miraculous escape from that narrow place that we call Mitrayim we had entered the wilderness of Sinai. We counted the days until G’s offering to us, Torah. We make Korbanot, ways of coming closer to G. But G also offered us another way of coming closer. In a sense, Torah is a Korban offered by G for us to come closer, to make the sacred connection. As we count the days, called counting the Omer, we reenact creation; the creation of the world and the creation of our tribe.
According to Kabbalah G used 10 Sefirot to move the spiritual into the material thus creating the energy-matter connection. We reenact the flow of spiritual into material by counting the 7 lower Sefirot, speaking of them and playing in the limbs of the Sefirotic tree.
There are 49 days between the second night of Pesah and Shavuot, which is a week of weeks. We unpack each of the 7 lower Sefirot find in each one, all of the 7 repeated until 49 have been completed, contemplated and experienced. It is like a dream within a dream as we float among the limbs and leaves of the Sacred tree.
On the eve of the second Seder we counted the first Sefirah The first Sefirah within Sefirah. It is Hesed within Hesed. Hesed is compassion, it is unconditional love. Compassion within unconditional love, is a heartful place. Hesed within Hesed is selfless and giving and what can compare to that feeling.
Give a try: Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Take a few conscious breaths. Allow yourself to feel the love that means so much to you. It might be, as the Haggadah says; love of parent for child and child for parent. It might be your life partner or nature’s beauty. The love that we offer has a transformative power for the receiver and also the giver. Offer it now, in your heart, from your heart.
The next night, this year April 8, we climb to the branch growing out of Hesed that is called Gevurah. On that branch, Gevurah of Hesed, we bring some discipline and gentle judgment to the power of love. We love unconditionally but that love is not blind. We are human and fallible. Our Hesed exalts our humanity and our Gevurah grounds us with discernment.
Give a try: Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Take a few conscious breaths. Consider how we share our differences with those we love.
Monday night, April 9th is the eve of Tiferet of Hesed. Still within the loving place we seek out balance. It is not the balance between love and judgment. It is the balance of judgment within love; this is called beauty, Tiferet. We can only see G through the beauty of G creations. In the mountains and forests and in the loving balance for which we strive with friends, family and self we discover G.
Give a try: Stand in an open space (maybe with a friend to spot you). Concentrate on a spot in the distance. Lift one leg and balance for a few moments while taking a few conscious breaths. Now try with the same thing with the other leg. Finally, stand on both feet legs slightly spread and knees bent. Take a few conscious breaths as you feel your balance. How beautiful it is to find balance in our lives.