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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 10 - Tifferet sheb'Gevurah
Tonight Count 11
Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the eleventh day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall of the previous evening, we count the omer for tomorrow's date tonight, after nightfall: "Today is eleven days, which are one week and four days, to the Omer." (If you miss the count tonight, you can count the omer all day tomorrow, but without the preceding blessing).

The 49-day "Counting of the Omer" retraces our ancestors' seven-week spiritual journey from the Exodus to Sinai. Each evening we recite a special blessing and count the days and weeks that have passed since the Omer; the 50th day is Shavuot, the festival celebrating the Giving of the Torah at Sinai.

Tonight's Sefirah: Netzach sheb'Gevurah -- "Ambition in Restraint"

The teachings of Kabbalah explain that there are seven "Divine Attributes" -- Sefirot -- that G-d assumes through which to relate to our existence: Chessed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut ("Love", "Strength", "Beauty", "Victory", "Splendor", "Foundation" and "Sovereignty"). In the human being, created in the "image of G-d," the seven sefirot are mirrored in the seven "emotional attributes" of the human soul: Kindness, Restraint, Harmony, Ambition, Humility, Connection and Receptiveness. Each of the seven attributes contain elements of all seven--i.e., "Kindness in Kindness", "Restraint in Kindness", "Harmony in Kindness", etc.--making for a total of forty-nine traits. The 49-day Omer Count is thus a 49-step process of self-refinement, with each day devoted to the "rectification" and perfection of one the forty-nine "sefirot."

Links:
How to count the Omer
The deeper significance of the Omer Count

Daily Thought

What was the wonder of the Exodus?

That an infinite, unbounded light broke its way into a dark, tightly-bounded world.

What will be the wonder of the future, when that light will shine in every corner, perceived by every eye?

That there is a world.

To us, then, there will be no greater wonder.