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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?

Omer Day Four: Knowing Your Divine Driving Force

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: Google images

Before the sun sets today there is still time for today's Day Four Omer practice of Netzakh sheh b'Chessed—Netzakh--the Divine acting as a driving force wrapped in the flowing embrace of chessed—overflowing lovingkindness. While contemplating this pair of sephirot from my perch on the Tree of Life, an email binged and truth to tell, reflexively I looked at it.

Omer Day Three: Beauty of Balance within Lovingkindness

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: Barry Bub, his Latvian Matzah Balls love wraps pine nuts, onions, ground meat, cardamon, rolled in cinnamon

Firstly, I've just created and posted a full 2015 Omer calendar, in color and black and white that you can print out, with each of the Kabbalists' pairs of qualities (sephirot) of the Tree of Life listed and explained. And, before the sun sets today there is still time for today's Day Three Omer practice of Tiferet sheh b'Chessed—Tiferet is the Beauty of Balance, our harmonizing the opposites of restraint and flowing within the embrace of Chessed--Lovingkindness.

Omer Day Two: Restraint within Lovingkindness

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: Google images

Before the sun sets today there is still time for this Day Two Omer practice of Restraint within Lovingkindness--Gevurah sheh b'Chessed. We begin by contemplating how what my teacher Reb Zalman called "the G*d field" functions. The original energy of creation is present around and through us and yet is filtered by the atmosphere, and clouds, and the original star dust is that from which we are made. Compressed energy takes form as clouds, rivers, the human genome, and the DNA of the letters of Torah.

Omer Day One: Lovingkindness within Lovingkindness

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Street sweeper pauses to help a homeless person make a sign. Photo Credit: Barry Bub

Walking in today's omer state of consciousness, lovingkindness within lovingkindness, my sweet Hubbatzin Barry came upon this street sweeper pausing to help a very shaky homeless person write a sign asking for spare change.

Renewing the Joy of Passover

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Photo credit google imagesHappy Passover! Here's a joyful free story for your Shabbat Seder or family time by Noa Baum from our newest book in our award-winning Mitzvah Stories series.
 

Purim Stories

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Purim is a "rite of reversal". Everything in the megillah turns out backwards to how it was during the time of the Persian Empire. Such a story, when paired with ritual as in Purim, serves as a powerful, safe way of venting our frustrations and moving toward our highest hopes.