hazzan Diana Brewer was ordained through the aleph ordination program. she leads prayer services regularly at the jewish community of amherst, and is on the staff of the davvenen leadership training institute.

Day 32 נצח שבהוד

Netzach SheBeHod. Eternity within Splendor. Endurance within Presence. Horizontal within Vertical.

Netzach and Hod can be said to be the Horizontal and Vertical aspect of Creation, respectively. I am intrigued by how this idea can apply to us as we walk the Earth. I'm reminded of a class I took in graduate school in Dalcroze Eurythmics. This is a method of teaching and learning music through embodying and expressing music physically. We explored moving along the Horizontal, Sagittal, and Vertical planes. Each change of plane brought about a new result in the nature of the movement. If we are centered in Hod this week, our primary orientation is Vertical. We are reaching up - towards goals, towards the Holy One of Blessing. What happens if we begin thinking Horizontally within this framework? I imagine the possibility of bringing what we find in our Heavenward reach and experience out into the world. A great sharing of a potentially insular experience. A joining of our highest aspirations with worldly considerations. Imagine the good that can come of this! How exciting!

Endurance within Presence. It can be hard to be Present. Another way of thinking of or experiencing Netzach is as G8d's Enduring Love and Compassion. Enduring Presence. I so love the idea that we are created B'Tzelem Elohim - in G8d's image. I don't see this so much as a physical phenomenon, but as an emotional/spiritual one. If G8d made me in G8d's image, then surely I am also capable of Enduring in Presence. Surely, I will be given the strength to stay with someone - REALLY with them - in a time of need. I'm assured that I will be able to keep my focus and intention at the most important times. The idea that I am made in G8d's image helps me to trust in that possibility.

Eternity within Splendor. Anyone who has been alive for even a little while knows that times get dark. It's not all Splendor. Not by a long shot. Thankfully enough, I happen to be in a particularly Splendid time right now, but I grab onto the idea of Eternity within Splendor with the hope that it can carry me through the next downtick. There are so many things going on simultaneously at all times. This means that no matter what may be hitting the fan in my life, there is Splendor somewhere else, probably not that far off. I can use the Eternal nature of Splendor, its ongoingness, its Enduring reality to bolster me through the Less-than-Splendid times. This may take the form of memories of Splendor in my own life, or it could be taking a  moment to notice the three rainbows happening right outside my door. True story! The rainbows themselves remind me of G8d's promise to Noah - the promise of Enduring Love and protection

Today, let us  share the good of our Aspirations and Purposes. Let us notice how we can be Present and available for another. Let us find hope in the Eternal Presence of Splendor.

For the abbreviated version, visit me on Twitter.

For a couple of different Omer counting guides try mishkan.org or chabad.org.

Day 33 aka Lag BaOmer הוד שבהוד

Day 31 תפרת שבהוד