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 29 חסד שבהוד Chesed SheBeHod

Love. Extension. Flow. LovingKindness. Embodied Compassion. Light. Outreach within Receptivity. Wow! Awe. Gratitude. Space. Humility. Gratitude.

Oh, friends, it’s time to pick up the dog narrative again! Can you imagine a more perfect day to welcome a new family member of any species into your home besides Chesed SheBeHod? I get to bring our beautiful little Flora home with me tomorrow morning, in this very beginning of the week of Hod - Receptivity. 

I have been studying up and watching YouTube videos about dog training. (Of course, we’re going to get live, in-person help, too, but this has been a great start.) The thing our virtual teacher drives home again and again is that the most important thing, the basis of all training work is bonding with your dog. And how is this done? Healthy doses of Love, establishing a Flow of communication. 

Of course, none of this is REALLY about the dog. As I’ve been watching and learning in my neophyte way about dogs and their behavior and thinking, I keep thinking, “Yes, this is really what it all comes down to.” It’s no accident that the first of the seven lower sefirot is Chesed. Where would we be without that? I’m brought back to my first post four weeks ago, about Creation being a massive act of Chesed. So, perhaps quite literally, we would be precisely nowhere...

Hod corresponds with the 5th day of Creation, in which G-d made the birds and all the swimmy creatures of the waters and the creepy-crawlies of the land. After the Light of Love, the Boundaries of separating the waters from the waters and the heavens, the Balanced growth of plant life, and setting the stars in their place according to G-d’s Eternal plan, it was time to make Space for some less predictable critters, who had some Will of their own. G-d was ready to be Receptive to some wild card activity. We are definitely in for a wild card here!

I hope that we have laid sufficient groundwork to welcome our new friend. We have certainly made Space for her - both in our physical house and in our hearts. I know that it will require a great deal of Humility (and may also provide a great deal of Humility) to learn how to communicate with this canine being, and also with each other as we all adjust to this new life format. It seems to me there’s no better place to start than with Chesed. Wouldn’t you agree?


Omer Day 30 גבוה שבהוד Gevurah SheBeHod

Omer Day 28 מלכות שבנצח Malchut SheBeNetzach