day 44 of Omer HaTeshuvah begins the evening of August 5, 2020 (16 Av)
qualities of focus: Malkhut / Shekhina (Divine Presence) and Gevurah (Strength, Discipline, Boundary)
the practice of Omer HaTeshuvah
Read, say or chant any or all of the following:
Today is Day 44 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.)
poetic meditations to help on your journey
Here are two poetic offerings to help with today’s journey.
The first is a meditation on the qualities of Strength, Discipline, Boundary, and Divine Presence. It’s about feeding these, both individually and collectively.
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
- Consider the questions, feelings or thoughts that arise as you read today’s meditation, and journal what comes up for you.
- Chant the words “gevurah b’malkhut” using 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.“
like the idea of holding a book in your hand?
You might be interested in Rabbi Shifrah’s collection Omer/Teshuvah: 49 Poetic Meditations for Counting the Omer or Turning Toward a New Year. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy!
more about this day
Today is about Gevurah (Strength / Discipline / Boundary), and Malkhut (Sovereignty). Malkhut is also Shekhina (Divine Presence.)
Gevurah, in this practice, is about nurturing the discipline, strength, and healthy boundaries that, when combined with loving kindness (Chesed), allows for the balance of Tiferet to fully emerge.
Malkhut/Shekhina 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.
Shekhina is also the Divine Feminine, which has often been hidden or obscured from view through much of patriarchal history. Some have been reclaiming the Divine Feminine in Judaism in recent decades, since modern feminism came on the scene. A prominent example of this is found in the work of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute.
The bottom line for today is this – notice what gives you strength, where you may want to nurture discipline in your spiritual practice, or where you might benefit from healthier boundaries. Identify simple do-able steps you might take in this direction. It’s divine, this sense of presence. Divine Presence in our lives.
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.