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 14 מלכות שבגבורה Malchut SheBiG’vurah

Reality. Selfitude. Actualization. Sovereignty. Fulfillment within Power. Strength. Discipline. Structure. Boundaries. Discernment.

A bit of the story of why I’m so into Gevurah...

A little over 20 years ago, it started to become painfully evident that if I didn’t get some more Structure and Discipline in my life, things were not going to go well for me.  I was fairly recently out of college, and let us say that I was far from living up to my potential.

I found help through a loving group of friends, who were willing to share with me their tried-and-true strategies for happy, manageable living. Yes, these strategies included lots of Structure! I was afraid. I was afraid that adding Structure to my life would make life boring, make me boring, make me, well, NOT me. I was afraid, but my friends were gentle, and I admired them, so I decided to trust in their ideas. 

Imagine my surprise as, while I worked some Discipline into my life - including the beginnings of a spiritual life with daily prayer and meditation - the opposite of my great fear began to happen. I started to glimpse the first glimmers of a new Selfitude. I began to Discern the things that were most important to me as I put Boundaries around my time, and started to make actual decisions about how to spend it. I actually started to feel a kind of Sovereignty - I had a say in my life, and was no longer subject to the unpredictable winds of whimsy. Not that I think one should never succumb to whimsy! But a life lived on whimsy alone... Let’s just say it didn’t work for me anymore as I was trying to become an adult.

Another irony - Even as I started to enter that thing called adulthood, I actually started to feel youthful for the first time since I was a REALLY young kid. I got to go through most of my 20’s feeling like an actual young person. Things were anything but boring, and I became more and more ME as I continued to practice the Discipline I had been offered.

It’s been a long time since those beginning steps. I am nowhere near my 20’s anymore, but I still feel youthful inside. I take good care of my body, so that I feel reasonably fit and resilient most of the time. Perhaps being fully Actualized would put me on the wrong side of the daisies, but you can see why I’m such a Gevurah enthusiast, as the Selfitude continues to develop in my ever-evolving Reality. 

My hope for you - whoever you are - is that if you are feeling that it might be important to have a bit more Gevurah in your life, but find that scary or inhibiting, you may find some hope here with someone who thought it would make the whole cookie crumble, and was mightily surprised.

Shabbat shalom.

Omer Day 15 חסד שבתפארת Chesed SheBeTiferet

Omer Day 13 יסוד שבגבורה Yesod SheBiG’vurah