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 11 נצח שבגבורה Netzach SheBiG’vurah

Endurance. Victory. Leadership. Day-to-Day. Will. Within Strength. Power. Structure. Boundaries. 

Today I got a call from someone who wanted to know if I had wisdom to share about how I maintain Discipline in my life. “Well, I don’t know if I have wisdom,” I told her, “but I have lots of practice.” How does one find Enduring Strength to maintain Discipline?

Two particulars of my motivating forces came to mind. One was that I have a healthy respect for the consequences if I don’t. Take exercise, for instance, if I don’t maintain a certain level of exercise (and we’re not taking decathlon training - it’s pretty basic for me), I pay consequences in pain and sleep loss. If I don’t maintain my spiritual practices, I pay dearly in serenity, which I cannot afford.

On the other side of this coin is a positive motivating factor - gratitude. In this mindset, I am focused on the goodness that results from Maintaining the Structures I have in place that give me Strength. When I am directing my Will towards the Maintenance of my physical, mental, and spiritual health - Strength - I feel the gratitude of the results of these actions. In that state, I am more present and available to others. Maintenance of serenity = ability to weather the bad hair days, whosever they may be.

In her Omer writing for this day, Rabbi Yael Levy (A Way In) observes that we have no idea how far reaching any action of ours may be, and offers the following practice for the day: Perform an action aimed at bringing benefit to others. For me, Day-to-Day exquisite self-care and service to others go hand in hand. I find them to be outgrowths of each other. 

May you be blessed today with an opportunity to notice how your Enduring Structures bring Strength to you and to those around you.


Omer Day 12 הוד שבגבורה Hod SheBiG’vurah

Omer Day 10 תפארת שבגבורה Tiferet SheBiG’vurah