Day 20 of the Omer:
Yesod of Tiferet: Bonding in Compassion
For compassion to be fully realized, it needs bonding. It requires creating a channel between giver and receiver, a mutuality that extends beyond the moment of need; a bond that continues to live on... Exercise for the day: Ensure that something external is built as a result of your compassion.
How is it that each day's focus applies so clearly to specific events in my own day? Tonight was the start of Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day; I got to count the Omer for real, in a minyan after evening services at my synagogue's holiday celebration. This is the first time since I was, oh, about 10, that I noted Yom Ha'Atzmaut with more than uncomfortable dismissal. Israel, for most of my life, was an interesting concept that included me only in theory. So I studiously avoided the holiday for the same reason as I did synagogues: I didn't care very much about them, so why would they want me?
I no longer think this. I understand so much more about the bond between us, and the place of my heart on that chain. I hope, in coming years, to help make this channel wider and deeper, with room enough for a river to flow freely in both directions.