Sixteen Days of the Omer 5779

Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

Today is sixteen days, which is two weeks and two days of the Omer. גבורה שבתפארת. Gevurah ShebeTiferet. Powerful Beauty, Strong Truth, Boundaries of Beautiful Truth.

Art as a meditation on Divine truth

The best art is made within boundaries. Limitations based upon type, materials, and time. Michelangelo’s David was limited by the size of the slab of marble he carved from.

Truth approaches us through different mediums. For example, see if you can guess the inspiration behind this sentence I wrote for my Homiletics class last year:

Each Jewish holiday provides a soul gem, together they form the Jewish Infinity Gauntlet,[1] unlocking our deepest potential and guiding us on the journey to wholeness and holiness.  

Obviously, I appreciate the ways my Jewish forebearers developed superheroes as much as I appreciate the breadth of holy writing compiled.

Limitations also deepen the search for meaning

The same concept applies to my pursuit of meaning: there are natural limitations on my quest for depth. I have responsibilities to complete my course work, attend classes, take care of my family. I do not have the breadth of time available to an ascetic pursuer of deep truth. And yet, the truth I am able to carve out is more meaningful because it is built in relation to a community of seekers who came before me and a family that grows around me.

This is the truth of life: there is just one life. In my life, all of my pop culture fandom and holy reverence play side by side.

Understanding God consciousness

My Hebrew teacher, Rabbi Avraham Greenstein explained Pirkei Avot 2.1 today. This sentence describes what it mean to be God conscious: “Keep your eye on three things so that you will not sin: Know what is above you; an Eye that sees, and an Ear that hears, and all your deeds are written in a book.” This is a metaphoric statement, not a literal one. All that you do, all that you say, matters. What you do matters eternally. The way you spend your time has permanence.

May I sink into eternal truth. May I have reverence for the beauty that surrounds me, both made by human creativity and within the natural world. And may I recognize the healthy limits of every pursuit.

Previously on this day in the Omer

16 Days of the Omer 2018 / 5778: Setting boundaries on compassion helps everyone.

16 Days of the Omer 2017 / 5777: Nurture your boundaries and honor your own needs.


[1] Metaphor based on the Infinity Gauntlet as described in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the ultimate McGuffin, which requires six “soul gems” to be complete and rule the universe. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_Gems and “Guardians of the Galaxy” (movie).

[2]While dating my husband, I invited him to a lecture based on our mutual interests. To my surprise, I was inviting him to hear a high school buddy, Arie Kaplan, speak about his book From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books.

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