Today is thirty-eight days, which is five weeks and three days of the Omer., אמת שביסוד, Emet ShebeYesod, Truth of Foundation.
The deep truth that underlies the foundation of your life is the adult swan in the above picture. It shades you from the harsh light of alternative perspectives. It provides a soft landing for every new endeavor. A loving bed of feathers gliding on the stream of life.
Foundational truth: what guides your life?
Two years ago, I meditated into the truth that is the foundation of my Jewish journey. My psychological and spiritual health depends on Jewish wisdom and Jewish prayer. I still struggle with this truth. I challenge it and question it on a daily basis. Days like today bring me back to the full force of that reality.
Attending ordinations and graduations
Last year, I attended the Ziegler Rabbinical School ordination on the day before the thirty-eighth day of the Omer. This year, I had the holy honor of witnessing five of my colleagues transition from student to alumna. A brilliant Jewish artist, Revital Somekh-Goldreich, received a Masters in Jewish Studies. An incredibly insightful, soul-piercing sister, Dina Kuperstock, became a Jewish Chaplain. Two sisters whose voices ring with heavenly conviction, Orly Campbell and Bryce Megdal, became Cantors. And another sister, whose presence has invigorated my own studies over the last two years, Cantor Jennie Chabon, became a Rabbi.
I cried a lot today. There are so many levels of emotion involved in the completion of one’s studies. Today, Stephen S. Wise Temple’s sanctuary was filled with deep authenticity and holiness. Five women who represent so much of what Judaism have to offer: artistic engagement and democratization of text study; the next frontier of Jewish chaplaincy and creating sacred space; the voices to inspire us to reach into our depths; and the clarion call of truth and meaning.
Purpose of this counting
At the end of the day, the seven weeks of counting the Omer provides an opportunity to engage our depths in a formal way. It is a structured path to understanding what is important to you and how you are embodying those values. Now is the time to articulate your core mission statement. And to make a plan to more fully manifest that vision in your every day life.
Embracing my life’s purpose
While I want to remain humble, I also want to stop being afraid of the future I am creating. As much as I love all of the secular work I did, I am going to work deeply to allow myself to create a future where I am able to serve spiritual seekers and spread Jewish wisdom full time. I recognize that Southern California is blessed with an abundance of rabbinic supervision.
I pray to find my place in this matrix. I will pursue the truth that continuously transforms my life: Jewish ethical mysticism is the salve for my troubled soul. Instead of pretending my brokenness doesn’t exist, it allows me to honor my cracks and work towards healing. It reminds me that everything matters. Every thought, feeling, and action has consequences. May I embody the holy teachings I am learning. May I hold space for the souls around me. And may I allow space for my own transformation to continue.
How will you honor the truth of the foundation of your life?
Previously on this day in the Omer
38 Days of the Omer 5777 / 2017: The truth that is the foundation of my Jewish journey.
38 Days of the Omer 5778 / 2018: Witnessing the ordination of Rabbi Aviva Funke.