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

Receptivity. Spaciousness. Humility. Gratitude. Awe within Love. Unbounded Giving. Acts of Lovingkindness. 

Chesed wants to Give. That is its very nature. Unbounded Giving! Today we are invited to Receive. We are invited into the Humility of the notion that we Give others a gift when we Make Space in ourselves to Receive what they have to offer. 

For many of us, there is something easier about Giving than Receiving. What is that? I have had experiences where I feel exhausted by times of intensive Receiving. I shut down. 

There is a solution. I discovered at some point along the way that Gratitude is the antidote to everything. And I mean everything. It’s funny to think that good and positive things need an antidote. Perhaps it is not these things themselves, but rather my reactions to them that needs an antidote. If I am exhausted by an influx of Chesed, find myself no longer Receptive, I may have to have a good long talk with myself. In the meantime, practicing Gratitude can help me find the perspective I need to understand anything about it. Gratitude creates a Spaciousness that allows for clearer reflection. It may, in fact, be the case that the Giving is in some way out of balance, leading to my decreased Receptivity. Regardless of where the problem lies, the Spaciousness of Gratitude and the Humility to take a look will work together to clarify the situation.

A word about Humility (we will be seeing a lot of this over the next 7 weeks...). I think, too often, Humility can be confused with humiliation. Having our first visit into the sefirah that holds Humility be within the realm of Chesed clarifies something about it. Humility allows me to fill exactly the amount of Space that is mine. Humility helps me remember that not only do I have weaknesses, I have strengths. Humility, at its very best, allows me to see myself as G-d sees me. This, I think, is the essence of Hod SheBeChesed. If G-d is Love, then, truly, we are always dwelling within Chesed. May we be Receptive to this awareness as we wend our way through this day.

Omer Day 6 יסוד שבחסד Yesod SheBeChesed

Omer Day 4 נצח שבחסד Netzach SheBeChesed