Afternoon gratitude
Rabbinic conference call with Major General Gazit and Talia Sasson

Submission and splendor: week five of the Omer

We're beginning week five of the Omer. This is the week of Hod, which is usually translated as "splendor" or "majesty." Hod can be experienced in peak moments: the incredible sunset which causes your heart to well over with joy, the ecstatic experience of prayer which sweeps you off your feet.

Some associate hod with submission. Hod can connote a self-abnegation which arises out of awareness that we are not ultimately in charge, that there is a power in the cosmos infinitely greater than we. (Netzach, which is often paired with hod, can connote conquering an obstacle; hod can connote submitting to it instead.)

Hod can manifest as hoda'ah: gratitude. When we are able to feel gratitude for the gifts in our lives -- indeed: for our lives themselves, even when they are painful or difficult -- we are embodying a certain kind of hod. (And perhaps when we are not able to feel gratitude, we can relate to hod as submission, releasing ourselves into the reality that gratitude is temporarily inaccessible and letting that be what it is.)

Netzach and hod (endurance and splendor) are often considered two halves of a single whole. When the sefirot are mapped onto the human body, these two sefirot are mapped onto the right and left leg, respectively -- they work together to propel us forward. Another understanding associates netzach and hod with the kidneys. Just as the kidneys act as a filtering system for the body, so these two sefirot allow us to spiritually filter the ideas, beliefs, and teachings which we take in.

Where are there opportunities for splendor, for you, this week? Where is your life calling you to accept that you're not in control -- and where is your life offering you opportunities for gratitude? Is your spiritual immune system keeping you healthy and whole, or do you need to further filter what you're consuming in order to feel healthy and whole?