Today is ten days, which is one week and three days of the Omer. תפארת שבגבורה , Tiferet ShebeGevurah Beauty in Strength, Truthful Discipline.
Tiferet is the synthesis of Chesed and Gevurah. Another name for this sephira is אמת Emet, Truth.
When we are truthful about our strengths; when we honor the path of discipline, we create beautiful flow. We sink into the soul’s rhythm. Rather than allowing the world around us to determine our emotions, we are guided by deeper truths.
Holy discipline is the hardest path
Holy discipline is the hardest path. Every step of the way, the Yetzer HaRa, the inclination towards destructiveness thwarts our forward momentum. The small voice inside your head that says “just a few more minutes on Facebook” or “just one more episode on Netflix….” that is the twisted logic of the Yetzer HaRa, driving you away from discipline.
There is a deep purpose to relaxation. Sometimes, it is important to turn off the brain. Yet, I think many of us struggle to maintain healthy boundaries and avoid mindless consumption. This is not a time for self flagellation. Rather, it is a time for self reflection. What drives you to continuously do things you want to reduce? What triggers you? What small step can you take to move towards the balance you want? Do you have a vision for what you’d like to do instead of mindless entertainment consumption?
Or perhaps you stress eat and give yourself stomach aches from piles of junk food. Would saying a blessing of gratitude before eating help you become more mindful?
The Jewish way: Halacha
Discipline gets a bad rap. The Jewish way, halacha, is designed to offer people a road map to a disciplined life. It is not the only way — indeed, within and beyond Judaism there are alternatives to halacha that are equally valid. Nevertheless, studying the masters of halacha and mussar (Jewish ethical schools) , can help lay the ground work for spiritual insight and transformation.
Discipline of the Omer
Spiritual insight can occur through counting the Omer. Meditating on aspects of the Divine. Acknowledging the cracks we have made in the Divine emanations. Making a plan to repair our brokenness. Counting the Omer does not require you to completely transform in seven weeks. Rather, it is a combination of small, incremental steps towards the person you want to be and clarifying who that is.
May we each take a step forward towards truthful discipline.
This day in previous years…
10 Days of the Omer 2018 / 5778: Connecting with inner strength and deep will.
10 Days of the Omer 2017 / 5777: Have compassion for where you are today on your journey.