Day 29 of the Omer
Day 31 of the Omer

Day 30 of the Omer


A gazelle, sprinting. The graceful neck
of the giraffe. Seahorses bobbing gently,
fluorescent in their tank. These
are easier to love than the spiny echidna,
the scorpion, the swarm of carpenter ants.

Can I cultivate care for the cactus
which pricks the tender flesh of my hand?
For the kid who shoved my child
on the playground and called him names?
The politician whose positions make me squirm?

Hillel says: even these deserve Torah.
Akiva says: love the other as yourself.
Everything else is commentary, so go
and learn. I want to learn
even from the rattlesnake in the dry grass.

Everything else is commentary, so go
and love. I want to love even the echidna,
even the angry internet troll lobbing missiles
from under his bridge. Cup her spark
of goodness in my hands and gently blow.



Today is the 30th day of the Omer, which makes four weeks and two days of the Omer. This is the 30th day of our 49-day journey between Pesach and Shavuot, liberation and revelation.

In one Mussar paradigm, today is the day to focus on אוהב את הבריות, Loving God's Creations. I found myself thinking about how some creations are easier to love than others. That's what sparked today's poem.