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Counting of the Omer, 2007

Week 1 Intentions

Baruch atah adonay eloheynu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al sefirat ha'omer.

Blessed are you, HASHEM, our God, who makes us holy with mitzvot and has commanded us to count the Omer.

Ha-yom yom e-chad ba-omer. Today is one day of the Omer

Chesed of Chesed

a black hole
    explodes, availing worlds:
        it starts by giving.

***

WHAT IS THIS?

If you missed it, check out Rabbi Jim's email of last Saturday, "counting the Omer," which explains the basic principles whereby each day of the Omer relates to a permutation of two sefirot. These meditations will follow the structure outlined there.

My decision to write these haiku-like Omer meditations (Jim suggested calling them "chai-ku") was stimulated by a friend who appreciates haiku and, more recently, by reading a piece on Basho. In particular, I chose this form to avoid what seemed to me the well-meaning but overly moralistic and prescriptive meditations available on various websites (an example: "Exercise for the day: Start building something constructive together with a loved one"). I was looking for something more evocative, that left readers with more space to reflect, to integrate these qualities--which we find both in godliness, in nature, and in ourselves--with the stream of their lives. Some of the meditations I read looked like superficial attempts to divert the stream.

Your reactions and ruminations are most welcome.

Will

Omer Day One

The first night of the counting is chesed in chesed

the light of the Seder Pesach is so bright

that the Omer is set to sustain it

we are taught

when God gives it

God never takes it away

still if we could have held it just the way it was given

the messiah would have come

day one

so the first day of Pesach

we bring a sin offering

maybe we had neglected someone else

because we were too full

of God


jsg

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devils bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Joni Mitchell

Stephe

Ha-yom sh'nay yamim ba-omer. Today is two days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Chesed

i would like to give
    the monkey an apricot
        but i know better.

Will

The Omer Link


The point of yetziat mitzrayim
leaving Egypt
was to receive Torah

to become a holy people
with a wisdom

it is the Omer period that makes the connection

we weren't asked on Pesach if we wanted to be free on Shavuos we were asked: do you want this Torah?

remember what the rebbes said
on Shavuos we received Torah
on Pesach we received God

jsg

At the moment of separation
our potential for compassion
expanding beyond normal bounds
reveals to us a deep insight:
without limits, we may never know
the content of these holy vessels.
I love you
and that is why I must leave
I love you
and that is why I must step
away, so I may return
home, to us, as one
present in tune
in truth and awareness.

jeff briggs

Ha-yom sh'losha yamim ba-omer. Today is three days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Chesed

the clarinet soars
    at just the right
        moment, breaks my heart.

Will

Omer Day 3

From the Haggadah
I will pass through the land of Egypt (Exodus 12:12)
   ANI V'LO MALACH
. . .ehleh HaKadosh Barukh Hu
me    not an angel
only the Holy One of Blessing

whenever he would hear that
the rebbe would fall into a faint

in that moment
we were    all of us   entirely

occupied by Godliness.

Shlomo used to say
mamesh –
God shining into us.



jsg

mamesh: similar to really, truly, so true

Ha-yom arba-a yamim ba-omer. Today is four days of the Omer.

Netzach of Chesed

a door of bene-
    volence opens: enter
        now or never.

Will

Omer Day Four

What is the Pesach
anyway?

God passed over
this you tell our children
what will you tell me?

God pasach jumped in jumped out of our story this from Rebbe Nachman.

In Mitzrayim, we were feeling far away
Moses whispered to us the secret of the Pesach lamb we came to understand that to God the near and the far -- the same.

We offered up our distance with the Pesach lamb the fragrance rose and God descended.

Near and far jumping in jumping out all the same we came to understand the secret of the Pesach lamb

that was something
never to forget.


jsg

My soul is dancing

to your beautiful rhythm

help me cross the bridge


Laura Pollio

4/7/07

Ha-yom chami-sha yamim ba-omer. Today is five days of the Omer.

Hod of Chesed

the blackberries on
    the vine around my carport:
        all I do is pick them.

Will

At Shavuos we were given Torah
At Pesach we were given

God

between my reach
and my grasp

the counting

jsg

Bringing a new season

upon this winter worn face,

soft kiss of sunshine


LPP

Being present now

Fills those "waiting times" of Life,

Suspending worry.

Thank you everyone for your teachings.

Shell

(Simcha)
Michele C. Long

Ha-yom shi-sha yamim ba-omer. Today is six days of the Omer.

Day 6: Yesod of Chesed

a kind of chain,
    a chain of kind
        deeds, binds us.

Will

Omer Day Six

What is this matza?

Matza becomes mitzva with an added vuv

bread of faith to redemption
bread of affliction to mitzva

    We are transformed most at the level of soul neshama

    We are broken most at the level of soul neshama

    At the level of soul neshama we are most healed


jsg

So a couple of weeks ago I am pulling together some materials together at work for the Neve monthly Board meeting. My office mate, S, observes what I am doing and makes the following comments:

“For many years my father was head of our Hindu temple in India. He was always angry because he could never get enough people to volunteer and he never felt appreciated enough for all his volunteer efforts.

It’s too bad that he was never able to understand that the rewards for that type of work have to be internal. If you’re looking for validation from others you will always be disappointed.”

I smiled and thought to myself, “Yes, I get that concept.”

Stephe

No hesitation

between kind morning drivers

and assertive geese





LPP
4/09/07

In a message dated 4/9/2007 7:31:42 AM Central Daylight Time, stephen.mandel@wustl.edu writes:
So a couple of weeks ago I am pulling together some materials together at work for the Neve monthly Board meeting. My office mate, S observes what I am doing and makes the following comments:

"For many years my father was head of our Hindu temple in India. He was always angry because he could never get enough people to volunteer and he never felt appreciated enough for all his volunteer efforts.

It's too bad that he was never able to understand that the rewards for that type of work have to be internal. If you're looking for validation from others you will always be disappointed.

I smiled and thought to myself, "Yes, I get that concept."

 Would that
    all our congregants
        got that concept

Elaine

Ha-yom shiv-a yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad ba-omer. Today is seven days, which equals one week of the Omer.

Malkut of Chesed

"blessed be YHVH
    who showed me the wonders of his
        love in a besieged city." (Psalm 31:22)

Will

Omer Day 7

Maror bitter herb
what is it?

Because our lives were embittered as slaves this you tell the children what will you tell me?

Hillel taught us to combine the
bitter with the transformative

he wasn't talking about food
it's how we save
our lives.


jsg

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