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 5 הוד שבחסד Hod SheBeChesed

Wow! Presence. Peak. Vertical. Humility. Gratitude. Awe. Within Love. Kindness. Graciousness. Generosity. Extension.

“Up, out, and around...” Those are words from a little daily meditation book I’ve been reading for over 20 years. The message is about looking up, out, and around ourselves to release us from the doldrums that result from the wrong kind of self-centeredness and foster an attitude of Gratitude. 

What does a day look like spent in the Gratitude that comes from being inside Love and Generosity - Chesed? Wow! It is something special to notice those moments that just thrust us straight back into Presence throughout the day. My pre-teen daughter taking my hand as we walk from the school yard to the car. A friend who calls to find out how that thing resolved that I had been worried about last week (which i now can no longer even remember). The woman who holds the door for me while I carry another box of books given me by a friend. I hope that today I can notice, be Present to the times someone Extends Love, however subtle. I hope I can look up, out, and around, and notice the Divine Love that surrounds me all the time.

And there’s another side. As usual. How many times have I been in Awe of the Presence that results from Extending myself for another?  Because of certain circumstances in my life, I have the exquisite privilege of scheduled times each day to be available as a listening ear to people who call on me for guidance. No matter how I feel before these moments, I come out of them with Gratitude and Humility, all swaddled up in Love. There are, of course, plenty of unscheduled moments, too. Being there for my beloved, who needs an ear and some helpful thoughts at the end of a really hard day. Being Present with my daughter on a bad hair day (cuz you know it’s not about the hair). Up, out, and around.

Today, may we experience the Presence that flows through the infinite exchange of Love.

Omer Day 6 יסוד שבחסד Yesod SheBeChesed

Omer Day 4 נצח שבחסד Netzach SheBeChesed