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 38 תפרת שב יסוד

Tiferet SheBeYesod. Compassion, Balance, Beauty within Foundation, Grounding, Bonding.

Just because I believe something doesn't make it TRUE. Just because the way I do something works for me doesn't make it THE RIGHT WAY. 

A very wise woman I know shared the following story with me a bunch of years ago. Many years before I knew her, she had developed breast cancer. While she was being treated, a friend of hers visited her in the hospital. My friend's friend told her she was very afraid for her. "What are you so afraid of?" my friend inquired. Her friend replied, "I'm terribly afraid you're going to go to hell because you are not my religion. Our belief states that those who do not believe as we do are going to hell." My wise, ever level-headed friend responded, "Suppose I told you I travel to Boston every day, and suppose you then told me that you do, too. Then, suppose I told you which road I take to get there, but it turned out it was a road you had never taken. You could tell I was being truthful about traveling to Boston every day because of things I told you that I could not possibly have known if I'd never been there." The woman saw her point, and was much relieved. Her mind had opened a crack.

Do I think that means that everyone should believe, act, think the same way? Certainly not!  What I believe is that we each need a solid Foundation that serves to provide a way of life that works for us, and that we need to have respect and Compassion for those with different approaches. We need to be stuck in the mud just enough so that we don't topple at the slightest breeze, and un-stuck just enough so as to not close doors which might be better left open. There are times when I need to be flexible around my Foundational practices for the sake of my family relationships. I have Compassion for my family within the context of my Foundations. 

Today we can ask ourselves: Do I have Balance in my Foundation? Do I have Compassion for the way in which the way I live my life affects others? Do I have Compassion and acceptance for the way others live their lives?

For the abbreviated version, visit me on Twitter.

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

Day 39 נצח שביסוד

Day 37 גבורה שביסוד