In Praise of Creation on Sukkot Evenings

On Shabbat of Sukkot we stand exposed
A people outside, under stars and moon,
staring up in awe, humble before You.
The light of day fades, evening rolls in,
The cycle of the world turns, night creeps up
into the sky. Our eyes open, soften.

The harvest of the summer hangs and frames
the signs that show the season soon to come.
Through the walls and ceiling of the Sukkah,
we sense Your miracles, depend on them.

What a great gift that we should be able
to draw so near to You in prayer.
How many walls stand between us, though God
fills all the world, still You seem so hidden,
Yet a single word of prayer topples all walls,
we reach between the leaves of the Sukkah,
our vulnerable bodies outside,
stretching in wonder, drawing near to You.

Praised are You, Adonai our God, who brings the evening.

Day Twenty-Nine of the Omer

Chesed in Hod - loving-kindness in grace.

We open up this week of the Omer focusing on humility, grace, and smallness. A week of remembering that the role of the pixel is both vital and beautiful in its importance and tininess.

How we interact with our environment may be an exercise in compassion. We are so small our impact seems negligible. Yet each of our infinitely tiny actions makes a difference, as we each contribute ripple effects that expand our smallness in all directions.

I work to be compassionate to the planet, to my neighbors, and to my family.

Every small action still counts.

Day Twenty-Six of the Omer (Yesterday)

Hod in Netzach - the grace of the minute in eternal victory.

[A delayed reflection on Mother's Day]

Attention to details matters. Small things make a difference in the biggest of pictures.

Yesterday, according to Ginny, the mother of our children, I did pretty well at providing her a good Mother's Day. Everything was about the small things: providing tasty and celebratory food for the family throughout the day, and cleaning up the kitchen too. Giving Ginny time and space to enjoy the day, start and complete an art project, now hanging in our living room, and attending to the little things that Ginny thought would be good for us all.

Providing a good day works when it reflects our attempts to provide good days all the time. The little details count so much more when we work on them regularly.

Day 35 of the Omer - Grow from smallness

Malchut in Hod - the manifestation of reality in humble smallness.

Gaining perspective must be put to some use. We engage in contemplating how insignificant we are so that we can act effectively. So we must put that acquired wisdom into action and not get lost in our insignificance.

The seed must germinate and grow or not fulfill its purpose.

May our counting lead us to better agency!

Day 34 of the Omer - Details Build Foundations

Yesod in Hod - a balanced foundation in smallness and humility.

Building solidly requires taking into account all the details, even the smallest of them.

Each fastener, each two by four, each decision in design, reminds us of their value when we look upon something well constructed.

Happy counting, building something out of small details noticed each day.

Day 33 of the Omer - Smallness as Inspiration

Happy LaG b'Omer - the 33rd of the Omer is here - shaving and hair-cutting and going to parties allowed again.

This is the 5th day of the 5th week of the Omer, Hod in Hod - the awe we get from seeing the universe from our place of smallness, in that place itself.

Let us remember that our smallness may be a crutch. It too is small.

Let us embrace a realistic sense of proportion, the infinite inspires awe, let us use this awe to inspire us to be humble so that we act well.

Still catching up - this is from Saturday night, and Sunday.

Day 32 of the Omer - In Every Atom the Universe

Netzach in Hod - eternal self-centered victory in the awe-inspiring perspective from the minuscule.

In the tiniest pixelated particles, the humblest of building blocks of the universe, lay the fundamentals to the mystery behind all existence.

The connections between the ends of the spectrum - ego and humility, grandeur and infinitesimal - run through every aspect of the universe and our innermost selves.

In every moment we may find the everlasting, and the grandest perspectives include an infinity of minutia.

Keeping it all in proportion is one goal of consciousness.

Catching up on reflections - enjoy!

Day 30 of the Omer - Discipline and humility

Gevurah in Hod - power and rigor in humility and smallness.

These seem tough to combine at first. Humility, even losing our selves in our powerlessness, may be a crutch. We need to exercise restraint.

Gevurah represents powerful restraint - a mindfulness of enough being enough since we aim to be mindful of moderation in all things, even in those we identify as virtues.

An excess of smallness may increase our sense of personal virtue, and may limit our abilities to take action.

Even our counting should be moderate!

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Day 29 of the Omer - Humility and Compassion

Chesed in Hod - compassion in awe and humility.

I find it easy to see compassion coming from our sense of smallness - this allows us to sympathize easily.

We must proceed cautiously lest we get swept up in sympathizing and lose our ability to help out.

We need compassion for ourselves when in the place of grace in our smallness, so that we can avoid powerlessness.

Happy return to Chesed day 1 of week 5!

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Day 12 of the Omer

Hod in Gevurah - awe in our smallness, in power and rigor.

To recognize humbly the power that we wield often unknowingly brings greater wisdom to our actions. A small lack of consideration may have massive unknown negative impacts, and a small exercise of effort may make a difference far beyond our energy applied.

We can be easily humbled when we take note of the dramatic effect of a kindness offered to a stranger, or the outpouring of gratitude when we visit someone ailing or in need.

Adding a sense of awe to our own effect deepens our thoughts and actions.

Happy and thoughtful continued Omer Counting to all!