Tonight begins Week Two of counting the Omer. The Divine Attribute for this week is Gevurah, which means justice and discipline, but also restraint. Gevurah is about boundaries and limits. On the first day of this week, we have Chesed of Gevurah
In this second week of the omer, we focus on birds. Birds are able to navigate across boundaries – they may walk and feed and nest on land and then fly through the sky. Some dive and swim in or under the water.
A great blue heron stands on its long spindly legs, nobly still and silent in the shallow water as it stalks its prey. So still, it looks like a statue. Then, suddenly, as fast as lightning, its long neck stretches out straight and the heron stabs its beak into the water. It quickly comes back up, a fish in its beak. When the heron takes flight, it long legs stretch behind it and its huge wings cut majestically through the air.
At times, we may, as fast as lightning, lash out or speak words we later wish we hadn’t said. Let us remember to be like the heron, still and silent, exhibiting restraint. Let us hold ourselves, let us hold ourselves with Chesed, with lovingkindness, and wait, like the heron, with Gevurah, until it is the right time for us to respond, until it is the right moment for us to catch our fish, and then we will be able to spread our wings and fly.
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher kid-shanu b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu, al sefirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you Adonai our G!d, ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us with mitzvot and commands us regarding the counting of the omer.
Today is eight days of the Omer.