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 21 מלכות שבתפארת Malchut SheBeTiferet

Reality. Actualization. Indwelling Presence. Revealed Word. Sovereignty. Selfitude within Beauty. Compassion. Balance. Heart. Harmony. 

Friday, May 10

We have now been living with the finger injury for one week. For those who may have missed that one, my daughter (the gymnast/violinist) had a weird little accident in which a tendon in one of the fingers in her left hand got detached from the bone. Yikes. It’s been a long week with many ups and downs. There is no way to learn whether the finger is following the hoped-for trajectory of healing until we get to our follow-up appointment in 5 weeks. It is too subtle to see in an x-ray, and so far they have not recommended an MRI. They seem quite confident. For us, it amounts to a major trust fall. 

Questions arise as we go along. We have both called the orthopedic practice several times, and been received with what feels like a surprising lack of Compassion and empathy. After one such call this morning, I had the thought, “Oh, no! I’m one of THOSE parents!” The thought that followed immediately was, “No. I’m not going to feel bad about wanting to do everything I can for my child’s physical, mental, and spiritual welfare.” If being an embodied Actualization of Compassion is what it means to be one of THOSE parents, then sign me up. I will wrap myself in my Beautiful Selfitude and ask the questions that we need to ask.

My wife and I spoke today about how to best show up for our daughter, so vulnerable right now. “Am I supposed to be cheerful all the time?” She wondered.  “Am I ever allowed to show a real feeling?” I thought of conversations I’ve had with my brother about how strong our parents were during various hard times in our family story. I thought of TV and movie scenes in which grown children thanked aging parents for being so strong. I thought, too, of how the first time I saw my father cry, I was around 40. I think my mom beat him to it by at least 10 years. It was heartbreaking. And refreshing.

I came to the conclusion that the answer to the either/or question we were contemplating was most definitely YES. “But,” I had to admit, “I have no idea what that looks like, how that plays out.” 

As I enter this day of Malchut SheBeTiferet, I think I’m getting some hints, some clues. I need to be Real. I need to be Present, the most fully Actualized version of myself that I can be. I need to remember that each particle in my daughter, and in us, is the Revealed Word of G8d, whose Presence Dwells Within us. I need that Self to be wrapped in Beauty and Compassion. I need to Balance Strength and Open-Hearted Generosity (Chesed + Gevurah = Tiferet, after all). 

Wow. That’s a tall order. As long as Malchut is in the air, I will order up, and expect good things. 

Shabbat shalom. 

Omer Day 22 חסד שבנצח Chesed SheBeNetzach

Omer Day 20 יסוד שבתפארת Yesod SheBeTiferet