Childhood cancer: I have no words.
God, too, is lonely: a d'var Torah for Behar-Bechukotai

Day 43 of the Omer


Thank God for the gift of another day.
Check the mile marker: what's the number?
We're almost there. One more week
of sifting days like grains to measure
how they fall, and then -- Torah
pouring in like raindrops, too many to count.

The challenge is making each moment count --
sussing out subtle differences in each day.
Through forty-eight qualities we acquire Torah
(according to the sages, who liked to number
everything) -- that's wisdom beyond measure.
Time to manifest Shechina this final week.

What we were withholding made us weak
until we found it was ourselves that count:
not salary or 401K, nothing you can measure
but who we are in the world every day.
Focusing on accomplishments just made us numb(er),
and you need an open heart to receive Torah.

It wasn't just once upon a time that Torah
streamed into creation. It's coming this week.
God broadcasts constantly at every number
on the radio dial, in too many languages to count.
We accept the covenant anew each day
in how we act, how we speak, how we take the measure

of who we want to be. Can you measure
up to the version of yourself who merits Torah?
What would it look like to live each day
with nobility? Everything you do this week
can wake the part of you that's out for the count.
If I ask "how is your soul," could you number

on a scale of one to ten? Number
the qualities you share with God. You measure
up. You matter. Stand up for the count --
you were there at Sinai when we received Torah.
And you'll be there again in one short week.
Torah comes to us on the fiftieth day.

Treasure the numbers that make up Torah.
Take the measure of your heart this final week.
Count reasons for gratitude, every day.



Today is the forty-third day of the Omer, making six weeks and one day of the Omer. Today is the 43rd day of our 49-day journey between Pesach and Shavuot, liberation and revelation.

In the kabbalistic framework, today we begin the week of malchut, sovereignty / nobility / Shechina. Shechina is the Jewish mystics' term for the immanent, indwelling, feminine presence of the Divine.

The lines "What we were withholding made us weak / until we found it was ourselves that count" are a nod to Robert Frost's The Gift Outright.

We're entering the final week of our journey. What is that like for you?