22/23 April 2022, 21/22 Nisan 5782

We are now on the journey of the OMER, the counting from Pesach/Passover to Shavuot the festival commemorating the receivng of Torah. But also the next harvest after Passover Spring harvest. Post Temple times no offering of sheafs of wheat (Omer) are offered, obviously, but we still count and mark the days and seven weeks. Kabbalistic and Hassidic teachers suggest that we read the Hebrew words “sefirat ha’omer,” the counting of the Omer, as “sefirot ha’omer,” the divine characteristics that permeate the world during the period of the Omer. Each of the seven weeks offers a reflection on personal attributes and qualities.

  • WEEK ONE: Chesed — Lovingkindness. In practice: the ability to love others (in a way that enables them to draw close to the Divine.)
  • WEEK TWO: Gevurah — Strength of character. In practice: personal resolve and integrity.
  • WEEK THREE: Tiferet – Glory. In practice: acting with integrity and without ulterior motives-doing good.
  • WEEK FOUR: Netzach – Eternity. In practice: discerning what is of enduring importance in life. What really matters.
  • WEEK FIVE: Hod – Splendour. In practice: pursing peace in every situation.
  • WEEK SIX: Yesod – Foundation. In practice: the grounding moral commitment that is the basis of human life and connections.
  • WEEK SEVEN: Malchut – Sovereignty. In practice: rising to do what we have been appointed by God to do.

This week is Chesed, Lovingkindness. How appropriate as we finish Pesach and the story of redemption. How appropriate as we in the Jewish community respond to the injustice and inhales of the Home Office’s Rwanda plan. I spoke last night at the LJ@120 Education Series on Loving Your Neighbour as Yourself. Our plans to welcome Ukrainians into our homes are moving forward. Our love and gratitude for our Czech Scrolls and the world they connect us to will be commemorated this coming Shabbat 23rd April. And the fifteenth birthday of Shabbat Resouled celebrated on Friday night 22nd.

Ozi v’zimrat Yah V’yehi li l’ishuah….God is my light and my strength and my help we’ll read in the Song of the Sea on the last morning of Pesach this Friday.

Strong words. Wishing you strength and love.

Chag Pesach Sameach and Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Rebecca