After sundown on Monday, April 29 we recite:
(Traditional) Baruch ata Adonai Eloheynu melech ha-olam asher kid’shanu b-mitz’votav v-tzivanu ahl s’firat ha-omer.
(Feminized) Aht brucha Shechina eloheynu chey ha-olamim asher kidash’tanu b-mitz’voteyha v-tziv’tanu ahl s’firat ha-omer.
We bless the Source of time and space that summons us to holy action and instructs us on the counting of the omer.
Today is 35 days of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and 7 days, the day of Malchut sheh b- Hod.
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We arrive at the last day in the fifth week, the week of hod, the day of malchut/manifesting in the world.
The biblical figure associated with hod is Aaron. Moses’ older brother and spokesperson, Aaron is an astonishingly complex character. While Moses is high on the mountain for forty days, receiving Torah from G-d, Aaron is down below building the golden calf. While Moses relates to G-d face-to-face, panim-el-panim, Aaron’s path is performing elaborate ritual offerings in the tabernacle and the holy-of-holies. No-one else’s clothes are described in such fabulous detail. No-one else is charged with running the messy, worldly work of slaughtering animals, sprinkling blood, sending the scapegoat into the wilderness, and effecting atonement for the entire people of Israel. While Abraham was directed to spare his son’s life at the last moment, two of Aaron’s four sons are struck dead when they offer “strange fire” in their first act as holy priests. Aaron, the talker, is a person and a prophet who lives his days so close to G-d, and so splattered with the messiness of people living in the world.
So we turn to Aaron on this day of manifesting hod in the world, to remember that our lives are messy—there’s no way around it. When hod, the sublime sense of splendor and connection to All that comes with letting go, manifests in the world, life will still be messy. But we will have touched something so powerful and filled with love that maybe the messiness feels a little different, a little less dangerous, a little easier to live with.
Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe, today I invite malchut, manifestation in the world, into my experience of hod, letting go. I call on my ancestor Aaron to show me the paths where holiness and worldliness meet. Help me to receive the unpredictable, the unmanageable, the unexpected with a bit more ease and release. Help me to put on the special garment that was made just for me, and to wear it with grace and dignity as I draw nearer to You. Thank You for this week’s experience and experiment with hod, with submitting to What Is. May my practice today be of service to You and to Your creation.
כִּסָּה שָׁמַ֨יִם֙ הוֹד֔וֹ וּתְהִלָּת֖וֹ מָֽלְאָ֥ה הָאָֽרֶץ
The starry skies are G-d’s splendor; G-d’s song fills the earth!
— Habakuk 3:3