Countdown to Rosh HaShana: Day 48

day 48 of Omer HaTeshuvah begins the evening of August 1, 2020 (12 Av)

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

This week of Omer HaTeshuvah is focused on Malkhut/Shekhina (Divine Presence). (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 48 of Omer HaTeshuvah, of counting down the days as we turn toward 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 the qualities of Yesod and Malkhut/Shekhina, and how they might help us create holy beloveds in our lives.

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, in partnership with the Divine, for the sake of tikkun olam (healing and transformation of the world).

other practices you might try

  1. Consider the questions posed in today’s meditation, and journal what comes up for you.
  2. Chant the words “yesod b’malkhut” using 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, 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.

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 to get a copy!

Evoking the kabbalistic Tree of Life during Omer HaTeshuvah

more about this day

Through a Kabbalistic lens, today is focused on Yesod (Connection / Foundation), and Malkhut (Sovereignty). Malkhut is also Shekhina (Divine Presence.)

Yesod is about the foundational nature of our connection with God and with each other.

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 is the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute.

The bottom line for today is this – however you find Divine Presence in your life, nurture that connection. And whatever connections are foundational in your life, consider how you might nurture their holiness.

A practice you might try is to recite these verses in honor of a particular relationship that you consider essential. (Also found in today’s meditation.)

V’erastich li l’olam,
I betroth you to me forever

v‘erastich li betzedek u-v’mishpat,
I betroth you to me
in righteousness and justice

u’v’chesed, u’v’rachamim,
and loving-kindness and compassion

v’erastich li b’emunah,  v’yada-at et Yah,
I betroth you to me with faithfulness,
and in union with these essential qualities,
you will know Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei,  YaH,
the Unfolding of Be-ing.
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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