Countdown to Rosh HaShana: Day 42

day 42 of Omer HaTeshuvah begins the evening of August 7, 2020 (18 Av)

qualities of focus: Yesod (Connection, Foundation) and Malkhut/Shekhina(Divine Presence)

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 42 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.

poetic meditations to help on your journey

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

The first is a meditation on connecting to Divine Presence through the ground beneath us.

The second is a prayer to the Shekhina. This is a prayer for our better selves to prevail. It’s about our collective co-creation of tikkun olam (healing and transformation of the world), for the sake of Holy Blessed One-ness.

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 “malkhut b’yesod” (Sovereignty/Divine Presence 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.
Evoking the kabbalistic Tree of Life during Omer HaTeshuvah

more about this day

Today is about Yesod (Connection, Foundation), and Malkhut/Shekhina (Sovereignty/Divine Presence).

On the kabbalistic Tree of Life, each of the qualities we explore in Omer HaTeshuvah is called a sefirah (plural sefirot). These include Malkut/Shekhina (Divine Presence), Yesod (Connection/Foundation), Hod (Splendor / Humility), Netzach (Endurance), Tiferet (Balance / Harmony /Beauty), Gevurah (Strength/ Discipline/Boundary), and Chesed (Loving Kindness).

Each of the sefirot also contains within it all the others. This is mirrored in the idea that each day of the week is associated with a particular sefirah, as is each week. So throughout the Omer HaTeshuvah period, we focus on 49 interactions of kabbalistic chemistry.

Today is focused on Malkhut/Shekhina, which is about Divine Presence in our lives. This week Malkhut is located within the quality of Yesod, which reminds us to be mindful about our connection to God, to each other. This is considered a foundational principle.

Malkhut/Shekhina, a quality we focused on all last week, is about Divine Presence, and about nurturing presence in ourselves – presence to suffering, to joy, to injustice, to hope, to destruction, to creativity – to all that life puts in front of us. And presence to the world around us, to the earth, and to the sacredness of our lives as embodied beings.

Shekhina is also the Divine Feminine, which has often been hidden or obscured from view through much of patriarchal history, but is present with us nonetheless.

The bottom line for today is this – explore your Connections to the Divine, in whatever way that might appear for you today, big or small or in-between.

Rabbi Shifrah (right) and her wife Ruth communing with the Shekhina in red rock country.

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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