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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 38 - Tifferet sheb'Yesod
Tonight Count 39
Jewish History

The Children of Israel arrived at Rephidim on the 23rd of Iyar, 1313 BCE -- 38 days after their exodus from Egypt.

Rephidim was desert land and waterless, the people grumbled that they and their flocks were in danger of dying of thirst. G-d commanded Moses to take the elders of the people to a rock which he was to hit with his staff. Moses hit the rock and from the dry stone, a well sprang forth.

Links: Food in the Desert

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the thirty-ninth 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-nine days, which are five weeks 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: Netzah sheb'Yesod -- "Ambition in Connection"

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

Nobody ever demanded you unravel every mystery of the cosmos, or make sense of all you learn. There are things we will come to understand and things we will never fathom in our lifetimes—as well as things that are just beyond the gray matter within the human skull.

As humans, we are indignant about such limitations, as though the unknown has no right to stay unknown. As though reality is defined by our ability to know it.

It may be hard to concede, but none of us is G–d. Our job description is not to know all things.

Our job is only to pick up those truths we will each need for our mission while we are here.