Rabbi Goldie Milgram's blog

Omer blogging paused because of computer brown out on Wed, sorry!

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Omer Day Sixteen: Restraint within Beauty

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Floating in the Dead Sea

Omer Day 16, Strength—gevurah within beauty—tiferet. Like many parents, mine would deny themselves a great deal in order to "do" for their children. I recall collecting the mail at age 17 and finding a letter appointing me as the Jewish and Nature programs director for a summer camp. I had secretly applied for the position, shown to me by an encouraging mentor. Running to tell my parents, I found them both in the kitchen. They looked like they had both swallowed the proverbial canary. Could they already know my special news and be in favor of me taking the job?

Omer Day Fifteen: Abundance within Beauty

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Green Apple; photo credit: Google Images

There is still time before the sun sets to engage in Omer Day 15 reflection upon Chessed--abundance--within/sheh b'Tiferet--harmony. When we would pass a fruit stand, Reb Zalman would often buy me a green apple. For a long time I though this was because he saw how often I brought red Braeburn apples to work as a snack, often leaving a pile for him in some funny or artful arrangement. One day I asked why he always handed me a green apple.

Omer Day Fourteen: Manifesting with Strength

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Handmade Midrash by Jo Milgrom

Omer Day 14, Malchut sheh b'Gevurah, the Shechinah [Malchut] manifesting with strength [Gevurah], and such was our powerful Shabbat here. When we both lived in Mt. Airy, Reb Zalman, z"l would often have the Zohar open on his lap during services and turn to whisper to me just enough of a tidbit from it for my level of development. My diary shows on a parallel Shabbat day decades ago he taught based on Zohar Vayikra 35B how:

Ome Day Thirteen: Foundation within Strength

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice, Jewish Lights Publishing

Yesod sheh b'Gevurah, Omer Day 13, was a Friday and our process of preparing for Shabbat. My entire Jewish identity has its yesod—divine foundation in Shabbat. There's was a time in Europe when I was invited to consider mentoring a couple who wished to become Jewish. They invited us for Shabbos dinner at their home in the woods in a beautiful rural village. Covering their computer monitors and television were hand-needlepointed fabrics with the words "Shabbat Shalom" on them. Much like covering the cage of a parrot to help it sleep silently for everyone's sake.

Omer Day Twelve: Incubating within Strength

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
(c) 2015 Carola de Vries Robles; www.caroladevriesrobles.com

There is still time before the sun sets to engage in the Omer Day 12 practice of contemplating Hod sheh b'Gevurah, refining/incubating awareness/healing while being strongly held. In my twenties, in the greater Vineland, NJ area, I founded one of the early, small projects for interviewing survivors and Allied soldiers.  There came a day when my soul was over-saturated with the stories being told. Praying for guidance each night before sleep, the answer came in a dream.

Omer Day Eleven: Learning to Drive within Limits

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Sarasota Film Festival Poster created by Vince Fraser

Omer Day 11 is still with us here in line at the Sarasota Film Festival where the logo is strikingly Kabbalistic. Netzakh, the Divine driving us within the boundaries, Gevurah, of what is truly possible. Releasing  into this contemplation throughout today, I learned my own will must be relaxed into greater trust, to feel moved through the Tree rather than driving through my own way...the pathways of the Tree are strong arteries with strong walls designed to guide the way. Today has been Omer Day 11.

Omer Day Ten: Harmony within Discernment

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Reb Zalman playing flute; libcudl.colorado.edu

Jewish Humanist neighbors, newly aware of this Omer blog, upon learning Day Ten is Tiferet sheh b'gevurah--"Harmony wrapped in discernment" insisted upon taking us to see the movie Seymour at the local art cinema. It is beautifull and truly a fit for this day's pair of sephirot. If you have the opportunity, do go see it. As the trailer moves along it shows some of the remarkable spiritual perceptivity of Seymour Bernstein (concert pianist, composer, master teacher) that is conveyed throughout the film: https://youtu.be/oCOM3wMqoHg 

Omer Day Nine: Strength Wrapped in Strength

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: Google images, air boat photo from early 1960's

Omer Day 9. Gevurah sheh b'gevurah, strength within strength. Contemplating this from my perch on the Tree of Life yesterday, my father's incredible ability to overcome his WWII military service-induced handicaps comes right to mind. He had always wanted to see the Everglades; to ride an airboat, and see the alligators. He was entranced by the miracles of nature. (Me, too!) So despite my mom's reluctance to risk taking him on the road...off we go, driving to Florida!

Day Eight: Experiencing Lovingkindness within Healthy Boundaries

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Rabbi Jeff Roth's Jewish Meditation Program

As the second week of the Omer began, Day 8, Chessed sheh b'gevurah, Lovingkindness with Healthy Restraint, a story came to mind. In 1993 while experiencing the first of two extreme depressions in my life, I learned the teacher who most touched my soul in meaningful ways (at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where I did my rabbinical studies), had just lost his assistant and perhaps I might find it uplifting to go help out.

"The door's open."