day 29 of Omer HaTeshuvah begins the evening of August 20, 2020 (1 Elul)
qualities of focus: Chesed (Loving-Kindness) within Hod (Splendor, Humility.)
the practice of Omer HaTeshuvah
Read, say, or chant any or all of the following:
Tonight begins Day 29 of Omer HaTeshuvah, of counting down the days as we turn towards Rosh HaShana. It also begins the month of Elul, the month right before Rosh HaShanah. The energy of teshuvah increases during Elul, and we’re reminded to engage in a process of reckoning and forgiveness, with others, with God, and within ourselves.
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.
The first is on how Hod might serve as an invitation to kindness (Chesed), these being the two qualities of focus for this day.
The second is offered as nourishment for the overall journey of Omer HaTeshuvah. It’s about Emet (Truth), and listening for what might be true for us in a given moment.
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 “chesed b’hod” (Divine Presence within Splendor, Humility). 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
Chesed is about open-hearted loving-kindness. This seems like a good platform from which to enter Elul.
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. It’s about turning towards our most loving and beloved selves. It’s an invitation to improve our relationships with each other and with God.
I’ll say more about this as we move through the coming weeks. But for now, consider the intersection of Chesed with Hod.
Hod is the Splendor, grand or simple, that humbles us. Noticing Hod can remind us to be grateful. Being grateful can remind us of the love in our lives, and of how we might amplify love in the world. Noticing the love in our lives can sometimes feel splendorous, or humbling. Again, reminders of gratitude.
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, Chesed is expressed through Hod.
The bottom line for today is this – where do you notice Love today? Allow for gratitude.
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.
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