The Month of Iyar

Sefirat Ha'omer and Lag B'omer

It’s OK Not to Be Normal
Rachel taught us that the way to work on the not normal is by staying calm. To understand that within the range of normal, there are different personalities.
‘I Think I Can’: Rabbi Akiva and the Power to Believe
I know it gives them strength. I certainly know it gives me strength. But what exactly is the strength that we tap into by saying, “G‑d willing, you can; I can?”
Love Distorted
The night their father left town, his sons reminisced about their shared childhood, and the messages stressed in their home...
Why Kids Are Clingy... and That's OK
Could it be that we don’t understand our own importance?
Seeing the Light . . . and the Hand of G-d Everywhere
Lag BaOmer is a holiday I didn’t know much about growing up. I’m not even sure if I celebrated it until the year I came to Israel to study at the age of 21.
Loving Yourself to Love Others
Her father disowned her; she lost her social status in the community; she lost her friends and her neighbors.
How a Tiny Splinter on My Finger Changed My Perspective
A tiny sliver of wood, so small it was hardly discernable. But, it taught me a wonderful lesson.
I Am G-d, Your Healer
Through the spiritual and emotional process of Iyar, we too can manifest this power to bring true, unlimited, revealed G-dly healing into this world.
Why I Paid a Visit to a House of Mourning
Am I really at the age when it’s “normal”—not that it ever feels normal—to have one’s parents pass away?
Don't Get Swallowed Up!
Have you ever felt totally eclipsed by someone else?
The Courage to Try Again
Why does Rabbi Akiva pop into my head as I look into my client’s pained eyes?
Seven Habits of Transformation
Sefirat HaOmer, Introduction
Passover and Shavuot are, respectively, the point of departure and the destination of a journey. The 49 days in between are the path we follow to reach the goal. The journey is comprised of seven full weeks, which the giving of the Torah comes to crown on the fiftieth. Each week offers us an opportunity to work on a different aspect of our being, as we cleanse and ready ourselves for divine revelation.
Transformation Through Love
Sefirat HaOmer, Part I
We complain about not having the time or headspace to really tackle what matters most. But that’s a ruse. Deep down, avoiding our key tasks cuts us the psychic slack of being able to tell ourselves that we haven’t yet undertaken the mission, so there’s still hope . . .
Transformation Through Fear
Sefirat HaOmer, Part II
When we incorporate restraint into our lives (whether its origin is fear, awe, respect or opposition), we counterintuitively open another realm of possibility, and actually enhance our loving connections . . .
Transformation Through Balance
Sefirat HaOmer, Part III
If you’re in an argument, you need something or someone higher to effect healing and resolution. It doesn’t matter whether that thing is a loftier internal consciousness or a person outside of you. What matters is that the healing insight is coming from a more transcendent place. As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Transformation Through Ambition
Sefirat HaOmer, Part IV
My resolve and steadfast adherence to a goal are no guarantee of making it up the mountain. If anything, relying solely on myself compromises the very foundation of my endeavors. Buying into the idea that the course of my life is a product exclusively of my desire, my thought patterns and the determination to see them actualized is arrogant. It’s also dangerous. Unmitigated ambition causes pain and damage . . .
Transformation Through Non-Being
Sefirat HaOmer, Part V
In our source, we can be anything we desire. Because our essence contains all of who we are, when we touch it, we have the ability to manifest as whatever we choose, at any given moment. We're not locked in to one way of being. We no longer have to think of ourselves with any specific label or identity...
Transformation Through Intimacy
Sefirat HaOmer, Part VI
Contemporary culture is hooked on sexuality, but knows almost nothing of intimacy. The former has to do with the body, the act alone. The latter is personal, and also spiritual. Of course it’s physical and passionate too, but the passion and pleasure are even more gratifying because they fit within the broader, deeper dimension of soul . . .
Transformation Through Self-Expression
Sefirat HaOmer, Part VII
It’s in the place we resist that we touch our purpose. Right there, in the “lowest” dimension of the soul, we gain access to its highest point. More importantly, it’s through this “lowest” of soul powers that we get done what we’re here to do in the first place. Jews do not eschew the mundane. We celebrate matter and even – or rather particularly – the lowest dimensions of who we are…
Big Bullies
Judaism recognizes that we all have the power to change. But it doesn't happen on its own. It doesn't happen simply because we grow older...
The Other Side of Unforgivable
Counting the Omer
How can I expect to be forgiven if I have not extended the same grace to others, if I have not demonstrated with my daily behavior that we can treasure our relationships despite their imperfections?
A Time to Heal
The Month of Iyar
Iyar is the only month in the year where every day has a special, time-bound commandment to perform. This newborn chunk of soul is receiving daily work on ourselves...
The Fire of the Mind
Connecting to Lag BaOmer
One of the most fascinating traits of scientists or artists, or really, experts in any field, is how enthralled they are with their subject. And when you are so curious about the world around you, you cannot possibly be bored. Ever.
Healing Through Humility
I am full and empty. I lose the love, the joy, the security of an intact life. But I learned the beauty of surrender...
Waiting for G‑d(ot)
Beneath all those longings and fears, beneath even the anticipation of honeyed blessings, lies—I sense—a deeper waiting . . .
Life, Not Ashes
A lesson from Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
I resent them for having this conversation while I am in the room. I cannot share their interest in fabrics and sizes and prices. I have come here to swim to encourage the pain to move through me . . .
Rain, Rain, Come Again
A Lag Ba'Omer Lesson
Rain was our enemy. It meant no tree climbing, no kickball, and no raiding my mother's garden for the ripe strawberries she had not yet discovered. It meant, in short, no real fun for an entire day...
Changing the Narrative
Maya asked a few questions, peered into cupboards and bedrooms in her best social-worker manner, and then left. I was sure we passed the test . . .
49 Steps Towards a Kinder Heart
The global pandemic makes us feel vulnerable and uncertain about our future. Yet perhaps this anxiety can be channeled into developing a muscle of empathy, compassion and connection to ignite our world with healing and transformational energy.
How Do We Make Sense of the Trauma We Just Survived?
Meditations for the Month of Iyar
We are faced with a task of rebuilding our lives after a miraculous redemption. Now is the time to heal.
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