day 28 of Omer HaTeshuvah begins the evening of August 21, 2020 (2 Elul)
qualities of focus: Malkhut/Shekhina (Sovereignty, Divine Presence) within Netzach (Endurance).
the practice of Omer HaTeshuvah
Read, say, or chant any or all of the following:
Tonight begins Day 28 of Omer HaTeshuvah, of counting down the days as we turn towards Rosh HaShana. It’s the first day of the fourth week.
Echad, yachid, u-m’yuchad. Echad, yachid, u-m’yuchad.
One, only One, all together One. (English from Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi, z’l.)
One, every single One, each one joined and united with the One. (English source unknown.)
poetic meditations to help on your journey
Here are two poetic offerings to help with today’s journey.
other practices you might try
- Consider the questions, feelings or thoughts that arise as you read today’s meditation and journal what comes up for you.
- Chant the words “malkhut b’netzach” (Divine Presence within Endurance). Use any melody or chanting modality that works for you.
- Sit quietly and notice your breathing. As you consider the qualities associated with this day, notice what comes up in your body. Breathe into any areas that need attention, letting out unneeded tension as you exhale.
- Stand, sit, walk, or look outside, and notice where you find a sense of Divine Presence.
- You might also like to try using this kabbalistic verse about unity and unification. “L’shem yichud kudsha brichu u-shechinteh,l’shem yichud kudsha brichu u-shechinteh. For the sake of Holy Blessed One-ness, unifying with Shekhinah, Divine Presence in our lives.”
- Invoke the name of God using the pronunciation of each Hebrew letter of the four-letter Name Y-H-V-H. It goes like this. “Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei, Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei, Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei, Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei.“
more about this day
This first day of the week is focused on Malkhut, or Shekhina. So this day of the journey is about Divine Presence, and about nurturing our presence to the divinity of the world around us.
This week is about Netzach, which represents Endurance, and what endures on our behalf.
Each sefirah (Divine aspect) that we explore in Omer HaTeshuvah contains within it all the others as well, and each is an aspect of God, of the Divine. Today, Malkhut is expressed through Netzach.
the turning of Elul
We’re also in the month of Elul, the month right before Rosh HaShanah. The energy of teshuvah (turning towards our most loving and beloved selves) increases during Elul, and we’re reminded to engage in a process of reckoning and forgiveness – with others, with God, and within ourselves.
As we do the sometimes difficult work of acknowledging what we’d like to repair, or heal, or shift, whether in ourselves or in our relationships with others, it’s easy to beat ourselves up. But teshuvah, I believe, is fundamentally about Love, including self-love. That’s why so many of the poems found on the blog during this time focus on love, and on relationship.
Reckoning and forgiveness can be difficult. It focuses us on ways we’ve missed the mark with others, and ways we’ve been hurt by others. But it reminds us and gives us an opportunity to mend our relationships and refine our skillfulness. It’s about how we act, not who we are. This reckoning, this teshuvah, is about focusing our attention on how we can do better.
the bottom line for today
The bottom line for today is this – notice where you can be present to Divine Presence. Notice what helps you endure in challenging times. Or ask yourself – what is an enduring and life-affirming aspect of your life at this time.
Make a donation
You may be receiving this post because you signed up for the class Omer HaTeshuvah: Turning Together towards a New Year. This program is being co-sponsored with Rapha: The Center for Healing and Spirituality. Please consider making a donation to support the work of Rapha and of Rabbi Shifrah.