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.

Omer Day 19 הוד שבתפארת Hod SheBeTiferet

Wow! Gratitude. Humility. Empathy. Space within Beauty. Balance. Harmony.

Tonight, I walked outside to the sound of a Netzach of spring peepers! By the time I had had my time with the Holy Blessed One, blessing, counting, reciting the psalm and additional prayers associated with this mitzvah, the sound had given way to the silence of nighttime settling in. "Hod," I thought. The Space had opened up for another kind of Beauty. The Beauty of stillness and Space. 

This was a rather new experience of Hod for me. So peaceful. Another way of thinking of Hod is as Peak Experience. I usually associate this with excitement and high energy. Tonight, connecting with the spaciousness of Hod offers me a new and, I think, helpful way to look at and experience it. Helpful in that I sometimes (maybe even often) feel a bit hungover in the wake of a Hod experience of the high energy variety. There is a let-down, a sense of disappointment. It seems to me that if I can invite the peace of Spaciousness into these experiences, there may be a smoother landing on the other side.

Another aspect of the Space of Hod is a stepping aside that we do to allow for awareness and appreciation (Gratitude) of Divine Presence. In the vocal model I introduced the other day, Hod is the opening of the torso (Tiferet), allowing the lungs to receive the inflow of vital energy that powers the singing. Some call it breath, but those of us who live in it know that is only a small part of the story. In this image, if Tiferet is the Art, then Hod is quite literally within Tiferet (the torso). Further, the inflow of the vital energy is enfolded in the Art, being a crucial element in the rhythmic shapes that exist within the music and the texts that we are channeling. Notably, the moments of intake - Hod - are the moments of silence, without which there is no music, no Art.

Today, may you be blessed with Peace and Spaciousness within the Beauty of your Peaks. May you open to the vital energy within the Divine Art.

Omer Day 20 יסוד שבתפארת Yesod SheBeTiferet

Omer Day 18 נצח שבתפארת Netzach SheBeTiferet