Guest Author - Lisa Pinkus
The final week of the Omer is here. We have spent weeks building up to the moment when Shavuot arrives. I hope you have been able to utilize my suggestions for enhancing your experience of Counting of the Omer and that you have witnessed firsthand the power of change the Omer can bring.
The final week is the week of Malchut or dignity. There are fine lines drawn throughout life, and the one between dignity and ignominy are sharp. How does one maintain proper balance between self-respect and self-analysis to avoid overly criticizing oneself and subsequent feelings of disgrace? In order to grow, it is essential to identify our weaknesses -the things within we would like to change – but we need to do this in a gentle manner, avoiding the tendency to be too harsh on ourselves.
The week of Malchut gives us powerful opportunities for self-exploration and growth in the area of self-respect.
Chesed in Malchut (loving-kindness in dignity): Exercise your leadership kindly. Change the manner in which you direct your employees, the way in which you discipline your children or the tone with which you ask your spouse to pick his dirty laundry up off the floor.
Gevurah in Malchut (discipline in dignity): How authoritative are you? Are you really an expert or are you hiding behind your lack of confidence? Here is where careful introspection can help you define yourself and your beliefs.
Tiferet in Malchut (compassion in dignity): Does your noble self have compassion for others? Or does your “right way of thinking” cause you to judge those who are different from you? How do you treat yourself? Do you offer yourself the same compassion you give to others?
Netzach in Malchut (endurance in dignity): By creating a daily routine for acknowledging yourself, you will see your confidence bloom. Create daily affirmations that make you feel good about who you are. Spend time with people who have similar values. Create a morning routine that helps you start off the day on the right foot.
Hod in Malchut (splendor in dignity): What kind of leader are you? What kind of leader do you aspire to be? How are you going to get there? Identify the values that make you magnificent.
Yesod in Malchut (bonding in dignity): Connecting with others is important for our feelings of worthiness. Find people with whom you can form unions – people you can talk to, people who share the same values, people with whom you can open up with about life.
Malchut in Malchut (dignity in dignity): How do you appear to others? Is this the real you? Walk your talk. Be true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to show the world who you are.
Enter in Shavuot prepared to accept the Torah from G-d. What does that mean to you?
Observe yourself as the transformations from the last seven weeks pave the way for the ultimate spiritual liberation.