Week 5 Day 3: Tiferet sheh b-Hod

 After sundown on Thursday, April 25 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 31 days of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and 3 days, the day of Tiferet sheh b- Hod.

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I volunteered to work with Hod because this idea of “submission” has been so challenging for me, as far back as I can remember.  I work hard to be aware of, and to make conscious choices in response to my strong impulse to resist and transgress in the face of being commanded in any way. Working my Hod energy this week, I’m calling on the sweet spot where Chesed and Gevurah meet—the quiet radiance that emanates from the balance point between unconditionally loving compassion and a solid, consistent container that can hold it.

 Today we bring Tiferet—balance, harmony, beauty—into our experience of Hod.  We strive to submit completely, to let go of every last presumption of mastery and control.  That’s the unbounded flowing of Chesed.  And we invoke Gevurah, discipline and strength, to discern to which power we are giving ourselves over.  Submission to the wrong authority—to an abusive or idolatrous authority—is a real danger here.   This meeting and balance, this giving over completely to an authentic truth, is today’s quality of sublime beauty in submitting.

 Kavannah/ intention:

 Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe, today I invite tiferet, balance, into my experience of hod, letting go.   Help me to discern the holy paths of submission.  Help me to relax into them.  Help me to find balance as I marshal all of my resources to this practice even as I give over my power and release my will to Yours.  May my practice today be of service to You and to Your creation.

הֽוֹד־וְהָדָ֥ר לְפָנָ֑יו ע֥ז ו֝תִפְאֶ֗רֶת בְּמִקְדָּשֽׁוֹ

Give over, and honor your encounter with truth; strength and tiferet/balance are in this holiness.

            — Psalm 96:6





  1. Barbara
    April 25, 2013

    Thank you so much for this teaching Dev. Just what I needed. “We strive to submit completely, to let go of every last presumption of mastery and control.” This is so very hard to do, but when I am able to let go, I experience the unbounded flowing of Chesed that you so beautifully describe.

  2. brachastone
    April 25, 2013

    Tonight i saw the full moon back-lighting the deep clouds that partially covered it. And it was shining over the dancing lights of the Bay Bridge which were under the beautifully lit tower of the Ferry Building. I kept thinking that up there were also all those stars/galaxies/worlds that you spoke about in your introduction to Hod. I had absolutely no problem knowing that I’m only here for a little while. Because no time was occurring at that time. Within motion, stillness.

  3. Rabbi Diane Elliot
    April 26, 2013

    Rabbi Dev, what a gorgeous translation of Psalm 96:6. In rendering “l’fanav” as “your encounter with truth,” you connect me with the necessary and subtle relationship between hod, humility, willing-ness to give over (because it does seem to me that there’s a subtle application of will needed for the kind of yielding suspended in the sefira of hod) and truth. I’m going to ponder that this Shabbat.

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