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 36 חסד שביסוד

Chesed SheBeYesod. Love within Foundation, Grounding, Bonding.

I am ready to enter a week of Foundation and Grounding after my disorienting walk through Hod! Having swung the pendulum from horizontal to vertical, day-to-day to peak experience, endurance and drive during the last two weeks, we arrive at the place in the middle, which is Yesod. Yesod holds within it Foundation, Bonding, Generative Creativity, Grounding. The accumulation of the energies of the sefirot that have come before Yesod harness our potential creative energy into actual Creation through Yesod.

I cannot think of Foundation and Grounding without thinking of trees.Their roots go deep and spread wide. But wait! There's more! I learned the most fascinating thing about root systems from a friend of mine, who is a forest gardener. There are fungi called mycorrhizae, which form a symbiotic relationship with the plants to which they Bond. The nutrients from the host plant complete the life cycle of the fungi, while the fungi act upon the plant to make it more efficient in metabolizing the nutrients is receives from sunlight, water, and soil. Grounding. Bonding. Foundation.

Where do you find Foundation in your life? What keeps you Grounded each day? With whom do you Bond? What does Foundation look like with the ember of Chesed glowing within it?

If I am Grounded in those things that that supply my daily need, I will be endowed with the skills and abilities that make me uniquely useful, and the strength to use them effectively. With the ember of Chesed glowing inside of me, in my place of Foundation, I will seek out ways to give of what I have to help those who will benefit from my particular variety of help. Part of my Foundation is a need to pass on what I have where I have the opportunity. Roots and mycorrhizae - each needs something essential to its survival. Each provides something that ensures the survival of the other. When we Bond with someone in Love, we are giving and receiving. When we are Grounded in our Source, our potential for giving and receiving is strengthened, enhanced.

Another thought I can't shake when thinking about Chesed within Yesod is, "Don't be a stick in the mud!" When we infuse our sense of Grounding with a generous dose of Lovingkindness, we will maintain a flexibility, even in our sure-footedness, that is necessary to foster healthy relationships.

Today, let us plant roots that are strong enough to give as well as receive. Let our deep sense of Grounding enable generosity in thought, word, and deed.

For the abbreviated version, visit me on Twitter.

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

Day 37 גבורה שביסוד

Day 35 מלכות שבהוד