To view Shabbat Times click here to set your location

Friday, May 4, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
To view Halachic Times click here to set your location
Omer: Day 34 - Yesod sheb'Hod
Tonight Count 35
Jewish History

Renowned Talmudist Rabbi Meir ("Maharam") of Rothenburg (1215?-1293) died in his cell in the Ensisheim fortress, where he had been imprisoned for ten years in an attempt to exact a huge ransom from the Jewish community. The money had been raised, but Rabbi Meir refused to have himself redeemed, lest this encourage the hostage taking of other Jewish leaders. (see "today in Jewish History" for Adar 4)

Links: A brief biography

Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister under Adolf Hitler, was known for his zealous anti-semitism. Following Hitler's death he served as Chancellor for one day. A day later, he approved the murder of his own six children and committed suicide.

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the thirty-fifth 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 thirty-five days, which are five weeks, 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: Malchut sheb'Hod -- "Receptiveness in Humility"

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

Each of these three things—space, time and consciousness—can be grasped from its outside or from its inside. Or at its essence.

At the surface, each place is its own place, each moment its own moment, each person his or her own individual.

Within, each place is a facet of all of space, each moment a snapshot of all time, each person another face to humanity. For the whole is reflected in each of its parts.

But there is also an essence to each thing, its essential life. At the essence there is no distinction between the whole and the part. When you touch the essence of a thing, you find there more than a reflection. You find this place is space, this moment is time, this person is humankind.

With our minds we can reach inside a thing. To reach its essence, that essence must speak to us of its own. That is Torah—the Essence of all things speaking to us.