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 8 חסד שבגבורה Chesed SheBiG’vurah

Love. Flow. Generosity. Unbounded Giving. Outreach within Withholding. Boundaries. Strength. Structure. Discernment. Discipline.

Welcome to a new week! We enter a week to explore our Strong side. The side of ourselves that is willing to set Boundaries, to adhere to Structure. The part of ourselves that is willing to pause, not rush forward, and say, “Let me think about that.”

Last week’s discussion of Gevurah within Chesed brought me into the world of Hazzanut. After that, Someone (you know who you are) put a bug in my ear about the way today’s sefirotic phenomenon plays out in the world of singing. 

Singing, as anyone who’s ever sung already knows, is a physical, mental, and spiritual act. What does that mean for today? When we sing, we have to engage our bodies in a definite Framework. Our feet are planted on the floor - not too close together, not too far apart. Our heads are balanced on our spines - reaching or tucking the chin by even a few millimeters can inhibit the sound. Where is my pelvis? Where are my shoulders? Are the muscles in my torso allowing for free expansion of my rib cage? Are they engaged in maintaining the expansion?  Yes! All of this, and more, is going on in the body-mind of a singer.

With this Framework in place, the Flow can, well... Flow. The Flow within this level of Structure and support becomes effortless. It takes Discipline and focus, physical and mental strength.

I’m a big fan of Divine paradox. To me, this is one such paradox - the amount of effort that goes into creating effortlessness.  

Today, we are invited to explore the ways we can Strengthen ourselves to allow for maximal Flow. To see how Discernment can open us to Generosity. Are there Structures you can build upon in order to maximize your Flow?  Is there anything you need to Withhold in order to Give more freely?

Shavua tov. 

Omer Day 9 גבורה שבגבורה Gevurah SheBiG’vurah

Omer Day 7 מלכות שבחסד Malchut SheBeChesed