Guest Author - Lisa Pinkus
In week five of the Omer, we enter a week of splendor. All one has to do is look outside on a beautiful sunny day, and one can sense splendor. It is more than just beauty; it is pure magnificence. Often times, splendor is what allows us to see that there is something bigger than ourselves that requires our attention. It’s what brings us to humility.
Here are some thoughts on how we can grow from splendor and humility during this week:
Chesed in Hod (loving-kindness in splendor): How is it that you judge others who are different from you? Is there humility in your way of thinking? Spend some conscious time looking at others and recognizing their magnificence.
Gevurah in Hod (discipline in splendor): There are times each of us finds ourselves in a defensive situation and we become quite adamant and defensive in our position. Quite often, our righteousness stems from a lack of self-esteem. Where does your lack of humility originate? If we spend time recognizing the Divine presence in everyone, our need to be “right” melts away. This practice requires discipline. Spend today beginning a long-term practice of seeing splendor.
Tiferet in Hod (compassion in splendor): An act of compassion can lead to humility. Engage in a mitzvah project that allows you this opportunity. Sign up for a literacy program and read to children who are struggling in school. Visit a local park and clean up the garbage. Drop some old clothes in a clothes collection bin.
Netzach in Hod (endurance in splendor): Take a moment to ponder the strength of your humility. Are you able to set your ego aside? Establish a daily ritual to help you.
Hod in Hod (splendor in splendor): Make this a feel good day. Notice the splendor in everything. Take time to go for a walk. Pause to observe the miracles in nature. Take a day trip to your favorite state park and visit your favorite peaceful place.
Yesod in Hod (bonding in splendor): How does your humility help you connect with others? Join a hiking group, an environmentalist effort or initiate a weekly family picnic.
Malchut in Hod (dignity in splendor): How can humility and modesty earn you respect? Spend some time examining the delicate balance between the two. Examine the ego’s need to be “the best”, to “have it all” and to “do, do, do.” Put yourself in the shoes of the Dali Lama or Mother Theresa for a day and imagine how they’d react to the situations you find yourself in.
The week of splendor is the perfect week to slow down and reconnect with the important things in life. Take a walk with any child and you will see the world in a whole new way. Watch the ants crawling along the sidewalk, observe the mother bird bringing food to her babies, watch the butterflies swirl in the wind. Marvel at life’s miracles. They are present everyday.