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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."

Omer Day 7: Preparing for and Receiving Shechinah

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Kabbalat Shabbat with Friends, Sarasota 2015

The sun has set on two days not yet posted, due to Shabbat and my work in the community today. So let's catch up! Day Seven was Malchut sheh b'Chessed. Malchut is also called Shechinah, the divine experience of creation manifesting after moving through the sefirot this week to arrive  gloriously gift-wrapped in Chessed, the lovingkindess it takes to create such a thing.

Omer Day Six: Setting a Firm Foundation within Overflowing Lovingkindness

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2015/04/kosher-for-passover-haredisalt-water-567.html

Before the sun sets today there is still time for Day Six of Omer practice, contemplation of the sephirot Yesod sheh b'Chessed. Yesod—Foundation nestled within the embrace of Divine Lovingkindness--Chessed which is the dominant sephirah for this first Omer week.

Omer Day Five: Splendor Nestled within Lovingkindness

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: "Contemplating Orange" by Barry Bub

Before the sun sets today there is still time for today's Day Five Omer practice of Hod sheh b'Chessed. Hod—incubating splendor nestled within the embrace of Divine Lovingkindness, i.e., Chessed. While contemplating this pair of sephirot at sunset last night and now, I sense a prodding around my heart, it is orange, the color Reb Zalman associated with Hod. Here it comes within again and again, as though asking for attention. The prodding is not painful, it's…almost…a memory? So I welcome it, asking: What do you need? Why have come?