Countdown to Rosh HaShana: Day 37

day 37 of Omer HaTeshuvah begins the evening of August 12, 2020 (23 Av)

qualities of focus: Gevurah (Strength, Discipline, Healthy Boundaries) within Yesod (Connection, Foundation.)

This week of Omer HaTeshuvah is focused on Yesod (Connection, Foundation), which is the orange circle in this image. (Image by Marlene Burns, copyright 2020. All rights reserved. art-marleneburns)

the practice of Omer HaTeshuvah

Read, say, or chant any or all of the following:

This is Day 37 of Omer HaTeshuvah, of counting down the days as we turn towards Rosh HaShana.

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.)

Rabbi Shifrah’s 49 poetic meditations for counting the Omer or Omer HaTeshuvah. Write to for a copy.

poetic meditations to help on your journey

Here are two poetic offerings to help with today’s journey.

The first is a meditation on recalling our inner strength, and finding a sense of satisfaction in that. And even, at times, a sense of joy.

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

  1. Consider the questions, feelings or thoughts that arise as you read today’s meditation, and journal what comes up for you.
  2. Chant the words “gevurah b’yesod” (Strength/Discipline/Boundaries within Connection/Foundation). Use any melody or chanting modality that works for you.
  3. 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.
  4. Stand, sit, walk, or look outside, and notice where you find a sense of Divine Presence.
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.
One tone, shape, or aspect is held within another on a single flower – like the Kabbalistic qualities we consider during Omer HaTeshuvah.

more about this day

Gevurah is about Strength, Discipline, and Healthy Boundaries. It’s about noticing what helps us stay focused and on task. And it’s about noticing when we need to create or maintain healthy boundaries for the sake of our own well-being or that of others.

Yesod is an enduring connective energy and creative force. It is considered foundational, essential, for the ongoing flow of creation to continue.

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. These include Malkhut/Shekhina (Divine Presence), Yesod (Connection/Foundation), Hod (Splendor / Humility), Netzach (Endurance), Tiferet (Balance / Harmony /Beauty), Gevurah (Strength/ Discipline/Boundary), and Chesed (Loving Kindness).

The bottom line for today is this – you already have inner strength, or you wouldn’t have gotten to this place in life. Notice it, nurture it. Use it for the sake of your own well-being, that of others, or your connection with Y-H-V-H, the Source of All Life.

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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About Rabbi Shifrah


I’m a rabbi, holistic teacher, interfaith chaplain, end of life doula, and poet. I have a healer’s spirit, and am dedicated to social, economic, and environmental justice. I live in Emeryville, CA with my beloved wife Ruth, with whom I’ve been happily partnered for over twenty-two years.

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