Listen, learn, love

Hod - which is grace and smallness, humility, is our focus in the sphere of love and kindness today (we are leaving behind the fifth day of the Omer and entering the sixth tonight).

Humility can be a source of sympathy: "I can't possibly understand what's going on with someone else. I must silence all my voices to listen and understand who they are, what they feel, and what they need from me."

In order to be loving and compassionate we must meet people where they are, not where we think they are.

Listen and learn so that we can love. 

Day 4 of the Omer

Netzach in Chesed - victory of the self in compassion and kindness.

Netzach is often associated with a powerful sense of self, even to the exclusion of others so perhaps a challenging fit into to world of compassion and loving kindness.

Kindness towards others begins with understanding that we have something worth giving. We need to believe in or own self-worth in order to offer kindness, even to our selves.

So on this day let us remember to care for our selves as a start to offering each other compassion.

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Counting, and Happy Passover!

Day 3 of the Omer

Tiferet in Chesed - harmonious balance in loving kindness.

Tiferet often connotes beauty, perhaps a supreme harmonized balance between important values - in this case between Chesed, compassion and kindness, and Gevurah, strength and rigor.

Perhaps the beauty we find is the balance between immediate needs and long term needs. In order to enact kindness that transforms the world, we may need to think beyond the good feeling of doing a compassionate deed in the moment. How can we exercise our compassion so as to create a ripple effect of kindness in our selves, our families, and our larger communities?

Balance our kindness for the long view.

Happy Passover and Happy Counting of the Omer!

Day 2 of the Omer

Gevurah in Chesed - power or rigor in compassion.

At first glance two difficult to combine concepts, still to apply compassion rigorously we would have to demand compassion of ourselves even when we feel no kindness.

Often our first response to difficulty excludes any compassion. To be rigorous in kindness would require us to admit a compassionate reflection, especially towards ourselves when we might be least disposed to do so.

Happy counting!