Empathy: Withdrawing Ego (Beyond 28)

from JFREJ in NYC May 2
from JFREJ in NYC May 2

“withdrawing the ego to make room for another”

A key element in cross-racial, and every other kind of, understanding is the focus of this week’s omer journey.

Hod” [literally: “glory”] is understood as representing empathy in the system of thought that relates an attribute/energy of God with each week of the omer. For example, The Holistic Haggadah offers this explanation:

Hod is the attribute of empathy, of withdrawing the ego to make room for another. Aaron was the High Priest, the one that stepped out of the way to let the Divine blessing flow through to the people. He was the peace-maker, the mediator, the mouthpiece for his brother Moses….Hannah, the mother of Samuel, prayed for a child and then withdrew her own desires by giving the boy up to the High Priest for Divine Service.

So how is your Divine service? How well do you listen to others? Do you know when to follow rather than lead?
— Michael L. Kagan, The Holistic Haggadah (Jerusalem: Urim, 2004)

We counted 28 on the evening of May 1. Tonight, we count….

Making the Omer Count

from On the Road to Knowing: A Journey Away from Oppression
A key element in the journey from liberation to revelation is understanding the workings of oppression, and our part in them. We cannot work effectively to end what we do not comprehend.

So this year, moving from Passover to Shavuot, I commit to learning more about how oppression works and how liberation is accomplished. I invite others to join me:

Let’s work together, as we count the Omer, to make this Omer count.

Thoughts and sources welcome.


Share this graphic to encourage others to participate.

A Meditation

Aware that we are on a journey toward knowing God — from liberation to revelation — I undertake to know more today than I did yesterday about the workings of oppression.

I bless and count [full Hebrew blessings in feminine and masculine address]:

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

Today is twenty-nine days which are four weeks and one day in the Omer.
Hayom tish’ah v’esrim yom shehaym arba’ah shavuot veyom echad la-omer.

In the spirit of the Exodus, I pray for the release of all whose bodies and spirits remain captive, and pledge my own hands to help effect that liberation.

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Virginia hosts "Conversations Toward Repair" on We Act Radio, manages WeLuvBooks.org, blogs on general stuff a vspatz.net and more Jewish topics at songeveryday.org and Rereading4Liberation.com

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