Counting of the Omer (Sefirat Ha’Omer)
Read & Meditate on Psalm 119:81-88
After the miraculous Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people spent 49 days preparing for the most awesome experience in human history ― the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Just as the Jewish peoples’ redemption from Egypt teaches us how to achieve inner freedom in our lives; so too, this 49-day period, called ‘Sefirat Ha-Omer’ the Counting of the Omer, is a time of intense character refinement and elevation.
During this time, the aspect of the human psyche that most requires refinement is the area of the emotions. The spectrum of human experience consists of seven emotional attributes, or sefirot. This week we continue Sefirat Ha’Omer, utilizing the seven dimensions of the seven emotional attributes. The first week after Pesach was dedicated to examining the aspect of chesed, loving-kindness. The second week corresponds to the emotional attribute of gevurah, discipline or justice.
If love (Chesed) is the bedrock of human expression, discipline (Gevurah) is the channel through which we express love. It gives our life and love direction and focus. Gevurah ― discipline and measure ― concentrates and directs our efforts, our love in the proper directions.
Day 11 ― Netzach of Gevurah: Endurance in Discipline
Effective discipline must be enduring and tenacious. Is my discipline consistent or only when forced? Do I follow through with discipline? Am I perceived as a weak disciplinarian? Exercise for the day: Extend the plan you made on day two for a longer period of time listing short-term and long-term goals. Review and update it each day, and see how consistent you are and if you follow through.
(Day 2 ― Gevurah of Chesed: Discipline in Loving-kindness Healthy love must always include an element of discipline and discernment; a degree of distance and respect for another’s boundaries; an assessment of another’s capacity to contain your love. Love must be tempered and directed properly. Ask a parent who, in the name of love, has spoiled a child; or someone who suffocates a spouse with love and doesn’t allow them any personal space. Exercise for the day: Help someone on their terms not on yours. Apply yourself to their specific needs even if it takes effort.)
Peace be unto you!