Welcome to the fortieth day of the Journey of the Soul: Making the Omer Count. We continue with this week’s kavannah (intention), which is Becoming the Vision.
We are intricately connected with what happens in the world. Jewish tradition gives us Shabbat each week as a moment to let go of the weekday world so that we can rest, renew and find peace. Yet, we are part of the world in which we live, even on Shabbat.
Incomprehensible acts of violence occur every day, breaking hearts and shattering so many lives. Our deepest hope is that our individual journeys toward wholeness become points of light that merge for peace in the world.
We hope you enjoyed the beautiful Nava Tehila composition of Shalom Aleichem that we shared yesterday in connection with the angels (divine messengers) that visit us every Shabbat evening. Today, we affirm that angels enter our lives in many different forms.
We are delighted to share this powerful teaching by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner:
Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
For some there are more pieces.
For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.
Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.
And so it goes.
Souls go this way and that.
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.
But know this. No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
jigsaw puzzles in cellophane. Insuring that
All the pieces were there.
Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else’s puzzle.
Sometimes they know it.
Sometimes they don’t.
And when you present your piece.
Which is worthless to you,
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High.*
As we step forward in our Journey of the Soul, internalizing a vision of faith and Becoming the Vision, we recognize that we are all deeply connected. We do not journey alone.
The questions to each one of us on this fortieth day of the Omer are:
Who are the people who have held important pieces of your life’s jigsaw puzzle? For whom have you carried pieces of their puzzle?
Gratitude Practice: Share with someone who has carried a meaningful piece to your jigsaw puzzle how important that person has been to your life.
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 fortieth day, totaling five weeks and five days of the Omer: Hayom arba-im yom, she-haim hamisha shavuot v’hamisha yamim la-omer.
Blessings to you on this new day. We are delighted to journey together.
Rabbi Jill Zimmerman and Rabbi Cindy Enger
* Kushner, Lawrence. Honey from the Rock – Dʻvash MiSela: Visions of Jewish Mystical Renewal. Jewish Lights Publishing. 1994.