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 38 תפארת שביסוד Tiferet SheBiY'sod

Beauty. Harmony. Balance. Art within Foundation. Grounding. Roots. Connection. Bonding. Creation.

As soon as I wrote the word Harmony, I slipped into a musical reverie. To take you there, I need to review our little music terminology lesson of last week sometime (oh my goodness was that only a week ago??). In Baroque music the structural role of the continuo is to provide the bass line, which is notated by the composer, and to fill in harmonies (if played on a keyboard or plucked instrument like lute or guitar) that are indicated by little numbers below or above the notes. It's the mirror image of what jazz keyboard players are doing - they have the melody and some chord names, and they make up the bass line. All very cool.

The bass line provides the Foundation. Our ears are most drawn to the melody, often played by a treble instrument or sung by any variety of voice ranges. The Harmonies lie in the space between, Artfully improvised by the player, who is following carefully the gevurodik rules of counterpoint. Counterpoint has to do with the way independently moving lines of music relate to each other. It's a very picky business. The improvised harmonies and counterpoints are a bit more subtle than the bass and melody lines, and serve as Connective tissue to the whole. Actually, these are known as the inner voices. Also very cool.

This reverie leads me to the image of the Connecting vav in the ineffable name of Y-H-V-H. This is the arm that Connects the giving hand of the Source of All Blessings to our receiving hand. This is the Link between the upper worlds and the lower. In this vav is contained six of the seven sefirot we spend these weeks fine tuning, preparing to receive, once again, the gift of revelation. With the sefirah of Yesod being our last stop on the way to Malchut, in which our open hand is maximally ready to receive and to give back, today strikes me as a particularly wide opening along that channel. Get ready...

May you be blessed today with the Harmony of Connection. May your Foundation support the flow of Beauty in your life.


Omer Day 39 נצח שביסוד Netzach SheBiY'sod

Omer Day 37 גבורה שביסוד Gevurah SheBiYsod