Drash on Parashat Tazria-Metzorah 2018
Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff
Mindfulness and the Counting the Omer
We are about 12 days into the 49-day period of counting the omer.
The omer spans the 7 weeks between the festival of Passover and the festival of Shavuot. In ancient times it was connected to bringing grain offerings to the Temple. What is the significance for us today?
The omer tradition evolved through Kabbalistic and Hasidic practice to be a period of self-reflection and refinement, each week being associated with a different aspect of our personality.
This week we explore the aspect of gevurah “strength” and din “judgement” in our lives. We are invited to consider times in our lives when we have needed to be courageous and how that has affected our lives. As a daily mindfulness practice we notice when we are judgemental and whether it is combined with compassion.
We reflect on the structures and routines in our lives and whether they help bring us a sense of wellbeing – physically, emotionally and mentally.
This week, ask yourself: Which routines keep me fit and healthy? Which routines in my life make me happy and which keep me mentally alert?
Sometimes routines have been in place for so long we take them for granted. This week we bring them to the fore so we can assess them and make changes if need be.
Combined with this week’s Torah reading, we are also mindful of communication with others. Part of this week’s Torah reading is about various skin conditions and some of our sages understood this to be symbolic of the various ways we communicated and the importance of being aware of the effect of our words.
At the end of Shabbat we will transition into the week of Tiferet, the week of exploring Compassion and Beauty.