Welcome to the sixth day of the journey.
We continue with this week’s kavannah (intention), which is
(Journey of the Soul: Making the Omer Count is a project of Rabbi Jill Zimmerman and Rabbi Cindy Enger. To subscribe and receive each Omer day in your email, please click here.)
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In yesterday’s offering, we explored one way of looking at Abraham and Sarah being called by God to their extraordinary leave-taking. The Sefat Emet teaches that Abraham and Sarah were addressed because they were especially open to listening.
Today, we explore another dimension to this central story of journey.* The Zohar, Judaism’s classic mystical text, uses the Lekh Lekha narrative to express two of its core teachings: we human beings are co-creators with the Divine and there are cosmic consequences to the actions we take in this world. Our waking up matters, and each one of us is necessary.
The Zohar looks at the verses in the Torah that come right before Lekh Lekha and notices that in fact, Abraham and Sarah were already “on the move” by the time Abraham is addressed by God. They already physically had left their birthplaces and begun to journey. They already had awakened. It was in that context, that God said to Abraham and Sarah: “Go forth.” The Zohar comments: “Until he (Abraham) first aroused himself, this (Lekh Lekha) is not written.” (Zohar, 1:78a)
It is our awakening that stimulates and arouses the Divine forces. This means that when we, as human beings, wake up, rouse ourselves to a possibility – perhaps a possibility that was there all the time — that when we awaken, God also awakens and joins us.
When we listen to the stirrings of our own heart, when we get in touch with the journey and dreams that are encoded within our souls, God unites with us to make it happen.
The world depends on our getting in touch with “what am I being called to do or to be” and our beginning to move. As Frederick Buechner, a contemporary Protestant theologian, teaches: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Let’s go there.
The question to each one of us on this sixth day of the Omer is: How do you relate to the Zohar’s concept that when we begin to move in the direction of our heart’s stirrings, support comes our way, sometimes from unexpected sources?
Music to help awaken the heart: To listen to a gorgeous piece of music, “Open My Heart,” by the group HARC from their album “Inside Chants, click here: https://youtu.be/F428bZeKucM and please consider purchasing their CD.
Blessing for Counting the Omer:
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’Olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Holy One of Blessing, who makes us holy with sacred obligations and commands us to count the Omer.
Counting: Today is the sixth day of the Omer : Hayom yom shishi la’omer.
Blessings to you on this new day. We are delighted to journey together.
Rabbi Cindy Enger and Rabbi Jill Zimmerman
* Our offering for this sixth day is an adaptation of a sermon written by Rabbi Jill Zimmerman, Lech Lekha 2008. To read the full text of that sermon, go to http://wp.me/p3s3Pm-c8
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*For more information on what the “Omer” is and why we “journey” and how we “count”, click here