Counting the Omer — Day 40: Splendor (הוד) within Foundation (יסוד)

May 25, 2014
By bethmordecai
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Counting the Omer — Day 40: Splendor (הוד) within Foundation (יסוד)

Day 40 — הוד שביסוד (Splendor within Foundation)

The great flood described in Genesis lasts forty days and forty nights, the same period of time as Moses remained on the mountain listening to God’s instructions before descending with the stone tablets. The Bible is telling us that forty days is sufficient time for a major transformation to occur. Today, the fortieth day of counting the Omer, we are reminded of that potential. Although all change is difficult, and people have personal histories and goals that influence their ability and desire to change, transformation is possible.

In the context of religious or spiritual community, change is complex. Individual childhood memories, religious experiences and familial expectations influence each person, leaving them with a fondness for remembered melodies, or an aversion to others, for example. As a result, when we gather in religious community it can be like steering a rubber raft through untamed and uncharted rapids of a raging river. But if we value community, treasure it when we find it, and seek it when we do not have it, we decide to plunge into the river. Building community is slow, rough work. It is like constructing the foundation footings of a stone bridge across that river, painstakingly placing stones of different shapes one upon the other. When we build connections, whether in a neighborhood, organization, or family, we do the same. We slowly, carefully place each irreplaceable piece upon the previous ones, valuing the unique contributions and precious peculiarities of each individual. It is only through assembling many small bits of amazing variety that we can build a firm base. This is the core of Hod sheb’Y’sod (Counting the Omer: A Kabbalistic Meditation Guidepp.194-195).

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