Monday, May 28, 2012

Float Your Boat


Since I was a small child, I've loved sailboats. 

My uncle had a boat.  He and my aunt lived near the San Francisco bay.  In all the years I was going up, I only once went out on that boat.  I was about 14 years old and I'll never forget it because I was horribly seasick.  I was gray.  Nothing helped, not sitting in the fresh air, not laying down in the bunks.
In spite of this experience, I still loved boats, the sea and salty sea breezes.  In spite of that seasickness, I've wanted to learn to sail.  My uncle was not a teacher, and my seasickness was a real barrier, but I still "wished" to learn to sail.

Fast forward 35 years

I wanted to spend more time writing and to that end I was doing some Internet searches looking for a online writing community to connect with so I could set some writing goals and have some support in achieving them. (Write a lot, everyday!! Finish my stories!! Get them published!!) I'm still looking for that community.

I found a website: which has you make a wish list of goals you want to accomplish, then reminds you everyday  by e-mail and also gives you lists of other people that have similar goals so you can help each other and literally 'cheer' each other on:  you are allowed to give 5 cheers to 5 different goals each day.
So besides writing goals like write 3 pages of practice each day, and blog everyday and finish a book and get it published, I decided to put 'learning to sail a boat' on my list, too.  I even went so far as to find places near my home in Israel that teach sailing. I have the names and phone numbers of the teachers.
I don't know when or if I'll ever do anything about sailing, but now I know that it's possible.  It's only a phone call away.
Long ago when I was at university, a class mate of mine pointed out a line in our Islamic history book, The Venture of Islam:  "The power of wishful thinking is not to be despised."
She said it would make a wonderful bumper sticker.

I believe it is the basis of all of human existence-  we are hard wired to want.  We were created with t need.  We were created 'lacking' חסרים. (Messilat Yessharim.)

Our wishful thinking is our humanity and the Jew is the greatest wishful thinker of them all.
The entirety of Jewish life is built on the forward looking vision of a perfected world.
עולם חסד יבנה

בשנה הבאה בירושלים 

הריני מאמין באמונה שלמה בשלשה עשר עקרים של התורה הקדושה

What do you wish for?
What are you doing to make it happen?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 48 ― Yesod of Malchut: Bonding in Nobility


Day 48 ― Yesod of Malchut: Bonding in Nobility

Examine the bonding aspect of your sovereignty. Healthy independence should not prevent you from bonding with another person. On the contrary: self-confidence allows you to respect and trust another's sovereignty and ultimately bond with him. That bond will strengthen your own sovereignty, rather than sacrifice it.

Does my sovereignty prevent me from bonding?
Could that be because of deeper insecurities of which I am unaware?
Do I recognize the fact that a fear of bonding reflects a lack of self-confidence in my own sovereignty?

Exercise for the day: Actualize your sovereignty by intensifying your bond with a close one.

Sifirat HaOmer Day 49 ― Malchut of Malchut: Nobility in Nobility


Please note:  Since Shabbat and Shavuot are back to back, I'm posting this last mediation on the Omer before Shabbat.
I'll continue posting on Isrur Chag since I'm in Israel.

Shabbat shalom and Chag Semach!

Day 49 ― Malchut of Malchut: Nobility in Nobility

Examine the sovereignty of your sovereignty.

Does it come from deep-rooted inner confidence in myself?
Or is it just a put-on to mask my insecurities?
Does that cause my sovereignty to be excessive?
Am I aware of my uniqueness as a person? Of my personal contribution?

Exercise for the day: Take a moment and concentrate on yourself, on your true inner self, not on your performance and how you project to others; and be at peace with yourself knowing that G-d created a very special person which is you.

After the 49 days of Counting the Omer, after having fully achieved inner renewal by merit of having assessed and developed each of our 49 attributes, we arrive at the fiftieth day. On this day we celebrate the Festival of Shavuot, the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah). After we have accomplished all we can through our own initiative, then we are worthy to receive a gift (matan) from Above which we could not have achieved with our own limited faculties. We receive the ability to reach and touch the Divine; not only to be cultivated human beings who have refined all of our personal characteristics, but divine human beings who are capable of expressing ourselves above and beyond the definitions and limitations of our beings.

The Daily Omer

Sifirat HaOmer Day 47 ― Hod of Malchut: Humility in Nobility


Day 47 ― Hod of Malchut: Humility in Nobility

Sovereignty is G-d's gift to each individual. Hod of Malchut is the humble appreciation of this exceptional gift.

Does my sovereignty and independence humble me?

Am I an arrogant leader?
Do I appreciate the special qualities I was blessed with?

Exercise for the day: Acknowledge G-d for creating you with personal dignity.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 46 ― Netzach of Malchut: Endurance in Nobility


Day 46 ― Netzach of Malchut: Endurance in Nobility

A person's dignity and a leader's success are tested by his endurance level.
Will and determination reflect the power and majesty of the human spirit.

How determined am I in reaching my goals?
How strong is my conviction to fight for a dignified cause?
How confident am I in myself? Is my lack of endurance a result of my low self-esteem?
Do I mask my insecurities by finding other excuses for my low endurance level?

Exercise for the day: Act on something that you believe in but have until now been tentative about. Take the leap and just do it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Time of Being

Shavuot is a holiday that is hard to get a hold of.

It's a time of being.

There isn't any commandment associated with this time, it isn't even given a specific day or date. We are told to count from Passover for 49 days and the day after you finish is the time to stop counting.

Shavuot is an atzeret just like Shemini Atzeret  after the holiday of Succot.

It was described in a shirur I heard by Rabbinet Chana Juravel on that an atzeret is to stop and celebrate our relationship with Hashem. After an entire month of Tishrei, Rosh Hashanna and Yom HaKippurim and finally Succot, Hashem says to the Jews, just stay with Me one more day. Let's just be together, before we go back to the everyday world.

Shavuot is essentially the same: Hashem asks us to come together and just be with Him. We're taught that the Jewish people were on the saem level as Adam HaRishon before the Chet at the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Adam had this is same quality: he could just be there with Hashem. After the Chet he and Hava “hid” from Hashem. They couldn't be in His presessce any more and had to leave the Garden.

So this is a time to return , just like the time of Tishrei, and to attempt to simply be with Hashem.

I once heard a beautiful story from a woman who had a huge nissiyon in shiduchim. She looked for a husband for over 13 years. She said that when she was 15 years old she told her father that she and a couple of friends were going to stay awake all night and read Tehillim(Psalms) and study Chumash with Rashi. Her father told her if she wanted to do something constructive on Shavuot, she should pray for shefa ruchani. The best way to do that was for her to pray for her future husband since he would be her main source of ruchanius in her life. They talked it over and in the end, she read Tehillim with her girlfriends and went to bed on time. But she did pray for her future chatan, her husband. She prayed over and over and even cried a few times. Years later when she was married, just before Shavuot, her husband was talking about how one Shavuot, when he was a teenager, he had such an amazing experience with the studying and prayers that he decided to go to a different yeshiva the following year and that is where he met his rav and it changed his whole life. He told her that that one day made all the difference in the direction of his life and he never would have met her if it weren't for the changes he made because of it. It turned out to be that same Shavuot that she prayed and cried.

What are you expecting on Shavuot?
What outpouring of abundance do you need or want in your life?
How can you be with Hashem this holiday? How can you just bask in His Presence?

It doesn't have to be long-make a list. The heavens are open. Share yourself with Your Avinu sh'b'shamim.

Chag Semach!

Sifirat HaOmer Day 45 ― Tiferet of Malchut: Compassion in Nobility


Day 45 ― Tiferet of Malchut: Compassion in Nobility

A good leader is a compassionate one. Is my compassion compromised because of my authority? Do I realize that an integral part of dignity is compassion?

Tiferet ― harmony ― is critical for successful leadership.
Do I manage a smooth-running operation? Am I organized? Do I give clear instructions to my subordinates?

Do I have difficulty delegating power? Do we have frequent staff meetings to coordinate our goals and efforts?

Exercise for the day: Review an area where you wield authority and see if you can polish it up and increase its effectiveness by curtailing excesses and consolidating forces.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 44 ― Gevurah of Malchut: Discipline in Nobility


Day 44 ― Gevurah of Malchut: Discipline in Nobility

Although sovereignty is loving, it needs to be balanced with discipline. Effective leadership is built on authority and discipline. There is another factor in the discipline of sovereignty: determining the area in which you have jurisdiction and authority.

Do I recognize when I am not an authority?

Do I exercise authority in unwarranted situations?
Am I aware of my limitations as well as my strengths?
Do I respect the authority of others?

Exercise for the day: Before taking an authoritative position on any given issue, pause and reflect if you have the right and the ability to exercise authority in this situation.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 43 ― Chesed of Malchut: Loving-kindness in Nobility


Day 43 ― Chesed of Malchut: Loving-kindness in Nobility

Healthy sovereignty is always kind and loving. An effective leader needs to be warm and considerate.

Does my sovereignty make me more loving?
Do I exercise my authority and leadership in a caring manner?
Do I impose my authority on others?

Exercise for the day: Do something kind for your subordinates

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 42 ― Malchut of Yesod: Nobility in Bonding

Day 42 ― Malchut of Yesod: Nobility in Bonding

Bonding must enhance a person's sovereignty. It should nurture and strengthen your own dignity and the dignity of the one you bond with.

Does my bonding inhibit the expression of my personality and qualities?
Does it overwhelm the one I bond with?

Exercise for the day: Emphasize and highlight the strengths of the one with whom you bond.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 41 ― Yesod of Yesod: Bonding in Bonding


Day 41 ― Yesod of Yesod: Bonding in Bonding

Every person needs and has the capacity to bond with other people, with significant undertakings and with meaningful experiences. Do I have difficulty bonding? Is the difficulty in all areas or only in certain ones? Do I bond easily with my job, but have trouble bonding with people? Or vice versa?

Examine the reasons for not bonding. Is it because I am too critical and find fault in everything as an excuse for not bonding? Am I too locked in my own ways? Is my not bonding a result of discomfort with vulnerability? Have I been hurt in my past bonding experiences? Has my trust been abused? Is my fear of bonding a result of the deficient bonding I experienced as a child?

To cultivate your capacity to bond, even if you have valid reasons to distrust, you must remember that G-d gave you a Divine soul that is nurturing and loving and you must learn to recognize the voice within, which will allow you to experience other people's souls and hearts. Then you can slowly drop your defenses when you recognize someone or something you can truly trust.

One additional point: Bonding breeds bonding. When you bond in one area of your life, it helps you bond in other areas.

Exercise for the day: Begin bonding with a new person or experience you love by committing designated time each day or week to spend together constructively.

The Daily Omer

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Writing Class starting on Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I'm giving a writing class in my home in Hadera beginning May 30, 2012.
If you're interested, please contact me at

Shabbat Shalom
Michal Nancy

Sifirat HaOmer Day 40 ― Hod of Yesod: Humility of Bonding


Day 40 ― Hod of Yesod: Humility of Bonding

Humility is crucial in healthy bonding. Arrogance divides people. Preoccupation with your own desires and needs separates you from others. Humility allows you to appreciate another person and bond with him. Healthy bonding is the union of two distinct people, with independent personalities, who join for a higher purpose than satisfying their own needs.

True humility comes from recognizing and acknowledging G-d in your life.

 Am I aware of the third partner ― G-d ― in bonding? And that this partner gives me the capacity to unite with another, despite our distinctions.

Exercise for the day: When praying acknowledge God specifically for helping you bond with others.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Netzach of Yesod: Endurance in Bonding


Day 39 ― Netzach of Yesod: Endurance in Bonding

An essential component of bonding is its endurance; its ability to withstand challenges and setbacks. Without endurance there is no chance to develop true bonding.

Am I totally committed to the one with whom I bond?

How much will I endure and how ready am I to fight to maintain this bond?

Is the person I bond with aware of my devotion?

Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the endurance level of your bonding by confronting a challenge that obstructs the bond.

The Daily Omer

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sifirat HaOmerDay 38 ― Tiferet of Yesod: Compassion in Bonding


Day 38 ― Tiferet of Yesod: Compassion in Bonding

Bonding needs to be not only loving but also compassionate, feeling your friend's pain and empathizing with him.

Is my bonding conditional? Do I withdraw when I am uncomfortable with my friend's troubles?

Exercise for the day: Offer help and support in dealing with an ordeal of someone with whom you have bonded.

The Daily Omer

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 37 ― Gevurah of Yesod: Discipline of Bonding


Day 37 ― Gevurah of Yesod: Discipline of Bonding

Bonding must be done with discretion and careful consideration with whom and with what you bond. Even the healthiest and closest bonding needs "time out", a respect for each individual's space.
Do I overbond?

 Am I too dependent on the one I bond with? Is he too dependent on me?

 Do I bond out of desperation?

Do I bond with healthy, wholesome people?

Exercise for the day: Review the discipline in your bonding experiences to see if it needs adjustment.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thoughts on Sifirat HaOmer The Bridge between Passover and Shavuot

I'm reprinting a devar Torah I read recently.
It helped me to understand this time of year better and the significance of Counting the Omer in preparing for the giving of the Torah at Shavuot.
I hope it helps you too!
Chag Semach
Mind Over Matter__
by Rabbi Noson Weisz

The mitzvah of counting the Omer holds the key to understanding the proper balance between thoughts and feelings.

One of the most confusing aspects of life, which impacts particularly on our attitude to our relationship with God and the way we relate to religion, is the establishment of the proper balance between thoughts and feelings. In the establishment of what we consider true reality, does what we feel or what we know play the dominant role, or is there some instinctive combination of knowledge and feeling that human beings were programmed to apply? The mitzvah of counting the Omer holds the key to understanding this aspect of life.
The difference between the spiritual quality of Passover and Shavuot is expressed by the difference between the Omer sacrifice, brought on Passover, consisting of barley, an animal food, and the sacrifice of the Two Loaves made on Shavuot consisting of wheat, a food people eat. The revelation of Passover was unearned; we weren't up to attaining the level of spiritual elevation to which God raised us. Such revelation is symbolized by animal food. Animals were not created to develop their potential and are not expected to do so; their levels of development were implanted by God as part of their natures with no potential for growth or change.
Inasmuch as the Exodus and the Redemption were events that required no input on our parts -- we passively experienced being freed from spiritual bondage just as we experienced our physical release from Egyptian slavery -- and a Divinely implanted spirituality was sufficient to provide the underpinnings of these events. On the other hand, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai required our active cooperation and participation. We had to resolve to dedicate ourselves to its observance in order to make its acceptance possible. Receiving God's Torah was not something wonderful that could merely happen to us, like the emancipation. The acceptance of the Torah amounts to the establishment of an eternal covenant. A covenant is a negotiated agreement that requires two active participants.
Besides, the Torah is only useful as a tool to enable you to develop your spiritual potential through the application of your own free will. People who need to be inspired and stimulated by God to attain their spirituality have no need of Torah commandments. Such people believe that either God will 'save' them spiritually or they will never attain serious spiritual growth.
The passive spiritual inspiration of the Exodus is symbolized by animal food; the Torah could not be given on the basis of the spiritual maturity we attained through the emancipation of the Exodus.
God had to provide us with the days of the Omer as a break between the Exodus and the meeting of Sinai so that we could have the opportunity of transforming the spiritual heights we attained -- from the status of a gift dependant entirely on God's constant support, to something we could merit and maintain through the application of our own efforts.
The sign of the accomplishment of this transformation is God's willingness to accept our offering of the two loaves of leavened bread on Shavuot, the day of the receiving of the Torah; an offering of people food, bread made of wheat -- the only time of year that leavened bread was allowed on the Temple Altar. The spiritual level of Passover and Shavuot is one and the same. The difference is not to be measured in size but has to be understood in terms of maturity. Passover is God-given and therefore childish; Shavuot is reached through hard work and spiritual maturity.
If we delve into how this difference expresses itself existentially, we will discover that Passover must be presented in terms of emotional certainty, followed by confusion and intellectual doubt, while Shavuot can be portrayed in terms of the intellectual clarity that is reached through the resolution of one's doubts through the application of the power of reason.


The Exodus experience was loaded with powerful spiritual impact. The miracles of the plagues and the parting of the waters of the Red Sea had the capacity to bring the Divine Presence into such sharp focus that it became a part of perceived physical reality. The song that Israel sang as they crossed the dry seabed contained the following phrase: "This is my God and I will build Him a Sanctuary; the God of my father and I will exalt Him" (Exodus 15:2). Rashi, in the name of the Midrash, writes: God revealed Himself so openly to the Jews that they were able to point to His Presence and say to each other, "Look over there! You see, that is God!"
In our relationship with God we are constantly pursuing clarity and certainty. The greatest threat to spiritual achievements is the worm of doubt. The pursuit of spirituality always comes at the expense of devotion to physicality. The physical world is palpably real, whereas spiritual phenomena can only be accessed in the perception of the human mind. Any doubt that enters our minds concerning the reality of our spirituality will necessarily be translated into turning away from the pursuit of spirituality to shelter in the security of physicality.

This relationship between doubt and the loss of spirituality is made crystal clear by the Torah itself in the presentation of the aftermath of the Exodus. As soon as the clarity of vision attained during the splitting of the sea began to fade, the Jewish people were in trouble.
He called the place Massah U'meribah, because of the contention of the Children of Israel and because of their test of God, saying, "Is God among us or not?" Amalek came and battled Israel in Refidim. (Exodus 17:7-8)
The Sages interpret the juxtaposition of this 'contention' with the attack of Amalek as causal rather than circumstantial; it is our spirit of 'contention' that made us vulnerable to Amalek's attack. Amalek is always ready to pounce on the weakness of Jewish confusion and uncertainty. As soon as Israel questioned whether the Presence of God was among them, there was an opening for Amalek to attack.
If we pause to ponder the nature of this uncertainty entertained by the Jewish people regarding God's Presence in their midst, we are bound to conclude that it was clearly only emotional and not rational. The Jewish people who doubted whether the Presence of God was among them were living off the manna, drinking the waters that flowed from the rock, and traveling on the Clouds of Glory even in the midst of their doubt. In their minds they must have known beyond the shadow of a doubt that God existed and was watching over them as one would guard a treasured child. The only way to explain their doubt is that emotionally they no longer felt His Presence among them. They could no longer point to the Divine Presence and declare, "This is my God."

As the immediacy of the experience of the Divine Presence as a palpable physical entity faded in their collective sensory memory, it was replaced by feelings of confusion and doubt. This demonstrates the fact that human beings are capable of experiencing feelings of doubt about spiritual phenomena they perceive as being real intellectually, as soon as these phenomena no longer impact on them emotionally. The feelings of doubt and confusion regarding spiritual phenomena are rarely the results of justified intellectual skepticism.
These feelings of doubt are the result of our instinctive orientation to reality. The relative trust that we invest in our physical perceptions and emotional feelings versus our intellects as reliable detectors of reality is the chief cause of our spiritual confusion. If we doubt our spirituality emotionally, it matters not that we are certain of it intellectually; the things that are only visible to our mind are not truly real to us. We get upset and confused and lose our bearings, and with it the firm grip on our relationship with God.

There is a profound irony in this. If you ask any well-educated modern person how to reliably establish reality, he will tell you that you cannot trust your feelings or even your physical senses to accurately establish the parameters of what is real. Science provides us with endless examples of how deceiving the perceptions of our physical senses can be. Truth can only be discovered by subjecting all perceived phenomena to the test of logic and reason. Only the intelligence of the human mind can be trusted to reliably guide us to the truth.
Yet the experience of the desert generation shows how deeply the distrust of phenomena that we can only perceive with the power of our minds is engrained within us. We realize the necessity of employing our intelligence to work out a true picture of reality and weed out the false images broadcast by our emotions and physical senses, but we are not ready to trust the picture of reality presented by our minds unless it is confirmed by the worthless testimony of these false witnesses. Here are the Jewish people doubting the reality of God's Presence even as their surroundings provide them with scientific proof of the reality of this Presence! God supplies the manna, the water and the clouds -- and yet He isn't there.
We have just located the precise function of the mitzvah of counting the Omer and diagnosed the spiritual disease of Amalek into the bargain.

The great emotional clarity produced by the miracles of the emancipation inevitably fades with time. Emotional feelings are physically felt responses to phenomena and they must inevitably weaken as we recede in time and distance from the events by which they were stimulated. But truth discovered by reason retains its freshness eternally. In the cold emotionless light shed by the intellect there is no lessening of intensity with the passage of time. Either things are true or they are not.
There was a way to successfully retain the spiritual height we had been helped by God to reach through the miracles of the Exodus. Even after the feelings of inspiration fade, the mind fully recognizes that the events that inspired us were a part of reality. We may no longer be able to point to God and say, "Look, there He is!" after we finish the crossing, but the intellectual evidence of God's existence and of His concern for us remains entirely undiminished. But we require a fundamental change in orientation to exploit this recognition.
We are all innately programmed to invest our trust and allegiance into our hearts and to be suspicious of the information projected by our minds. The mind informs us that God is out there and loves us, but because we don't see it with our eyes or feel it in our hearts, we do not accept the information as true. We must train ourselves to transfer our allegiance and trust to our minds if we are to take advantage of this truth. We must appoint our minds to serve as the ultimate arbiters of reality and truth.

This internal transformation is what the days of the Omer are about. True holiness and spiritual greatness can only be reached by people who choose to be guided by their minds…
The prophet Chaggai (2:9) pointed out that the glory of the second Temple was greater than the first. The first Temple was inundated with God's Divine Presence, whereas the second was not. In the second Temple one could only perceive the Divine Presence through the eyes of the mind. It demanded spiritual maturity and greatness of its worshippers.
The days of the Omer were given to us to accomplish this spiritual growth. There is no better way to convey what they can achieve than this profound observation made by our rabbis regarding the relationship between the mind and the heart.
"Pharaoh approached; the Children of Israel raised their eyes and behold! -- Egypt was journeying after them..." (Exodus 14:10) Rashi: "...[the Egyptians] with one heart, as a single entity."
"They journeyed from Refidim and arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai and encamped in the wilderness; and Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain. (Exodus 19:2)
Rashi: "...[the Jewish people] as one person with a single heart."
Egyptian unity is attained through the heart. Only when every Egyptian heart beats with a single desire can the Egyptian people attain unity. Generally, we all have our own dreams and want different things. It is rare to achieve national unity through the heart.
The unity of Israel that armed the Jewish people with the power to make an eternal commitment to the Torah was attained through the mind. The days of the Omer enabled them to overcome the confusion of Refidim that had exposed them to Amalek's attack. By the time they arrived at Sinai they had acquired the ability to judge reality through the eyes of the mind. We all have different feelings and desires, but reason speaks to all of us in the same voice and teaches all of us the identical lesson. When we are united by our perceptions we can attain an everlasting unity of desire.

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Start at the Beginning

Our day begins with the words:

Modah ani lefanecha מודה אני לפנך

what does "Modah" mean?

I thank You, Hashem


Jumping straight in: words to warm you and your writing up

Take a word from the list and write about it for 5 minutes or for the full length of a page without stopping. Just let it flow out, don't cross out or worry about spelling, grammar or if what you are saying makes sense. Just jump in and write!


Make a list of things you are thankful for. Be concrete.

My List
the coffee maker
my reading light
my friends Anna and Angela
all chocolate chip cookies, everywhere, at all times,
even if I never get to eat any of them

books, book stores, libraries
my fourth grade teacher Mrs Madigan
my purple glitter pen!

Think of three people...
one you want to thank
one you want to thank, but you are unable to do it
one you want to thank you, but they haven't or aren't able to do it

Write about each one

Sifirat HaOmer Day 36 ― Chesed of Yesod: Loving-kindness of Bonding


Day 36 ― Chesed of Yesod: Loving-kindness of Bonding
Love is the heart of bonding. You cannot bond without love.

Love establishes a reliable base on which bonding can build. If you have a problem bonding, examine how much you love the one (or the experience) with which you wish to bond.

Do I try to bond without first fostering a loving attitude? Is my bonding expressed in a loving manner?

Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the bond you have with your child or friend through an act of love.

The Daily Omer

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer WEEK 6 ― YESOD ― BONDING


During the sixth week of counting the Omer, we examine and refine the emotional attribute of Yesod or bonding.

Bonding means connecting; not only feeling for another, but being attached to him. Not just a token commitment, but total devotion. It creates a channel between giver and receiver. Bonding is eternal. It develops an everlasting union that lives on forever through the perpetual fruit it bears.

Bonding is the foundation of life. The emotional spine of the human psyche. Every person needs bonding to flourish and grow. The bonding between mother and child; between husband and wife; between brothers and sisters; between close friends.

Bonding is affirmation; it gives one the sense of belonging; that "I matter", "I am significant and important". It establishes trust ― trust in yourself and trust in others. It instills confidence. Without bonding and nurturing we cannot realize and be ourselves.

The Daily Omer

Sifirat HaOmer Day 35 -- Malchut of Hod: Nobility in Humility


Day 35 -- Malchut of Hod: Nobility in Humility

Walking humbly is walking tall. Dignity is the essence of humility and modesty. The splendor of humility is majestic and aristocratic. Humility that suppresses the human spirit and denies individual sovereignty is not humility at all. 

Does my humility make me feel dignified? Do I feel alive and vibrant?

Exercise for the day: Teach someone how humility and modesty enhance human dignity.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 34 -- Yesod of Hod: Bonding in Humility


Day 34 -- Yesod of Hod: Bonding in Humility

Humility should not be a lonely experience. It ought to result in deep bonding and commitment. There is no stronger bond than one that comes out of humility. 

Does my humility separate me from others or bring us closer?

 Does my humility produce results? Long term results? 

Does it create an everlasting foundation upon which I and others can rely and build.

Exercise for the day: Use your humility to build something lasting.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 33 -- Hod of Hod: Humility in Humility


Day 33 -- Hod of Hod: Humility in Humility

Everyone has humility and modesty in their hearts, the question is the measure and manner in which one consciously feels it. 

Am I afraid to be too humble? 

Do I mask and protect my modesty with aggressive behavior? 

Humility must also be examined for its genuineness. Is my humility humble? 

Or is it yet another expression of arrogance? Do I take too much pride in my humility? Do I flaunt it? Is it self-serving? 
Is my humility part of a crusade or is it genuine?

Exercise for the day: Be humble just for its own sake.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 32 -- Netzach of Hod: Endurance in Humility


Day 32 -- Netzach of Hod: Endurance in Humility

Examine the strength and endurance of your humility. 

Does my humility withstand challenges? 

Am I firm in my positions or do I waffle in the name of humility? Humility and modesty should not cause one to feel weak and insecure. 

Netzach of Hod underscores the fact that true humility does not make you into a "doormat" for others to step on; on the contrary, humility gives you enduring strength. 

Is my humility perceived as weakness? Does that cause others to take advantage of me?

Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the strength of your humility by initiating or actively participating in a good cause.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 31 ― Tiferet of Hod: Compassion in Humility


Day 31 ― Tiferet of Hod: Compassion in Humility

Examine if your humility is compassionate.

Does my humility cause me to be self-contained and anti-social or does it express itself in empathy for others.

Is my humility balanced and beautiful? Or is it awkward?

Just as humility brings compassion, compassion can lead one to humility.

If you lack humility, try acting compassionately, which can help bring you to humility.

Exercise for the day: Express a humble feeling in an act of compassion.

The Daily Omer

Monday, May 07, 2012

Sifirat Omer Day 30 -- Gevurah of Hod: Discipline in Humility


Day 30 -- Gevurah of Hod: Discipline in Humility

Humility must be disciplined and focused. 

When should my humility cause me to compromise and when not? 

In the name of humility do I sometimes remain silent and neutral in the face of wickedness?

Humility must also include respect and awe for the person or experience before whom you stand humble. If my humility is wanting, is it because I don't respect another?

Exercise for the day: Focus in on your reluctance to commit in a given area to see if it originates from a healthy, humble place.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 29 ― Chesed of Hod: Loving-kindness in Humility


Day 29 ― Chesed of Hod: Loving-kindness in Humility

Examine the love in your humility.

Healthy humility is not demoralizing; it brings love and joy not fear.

Humility that lacks love has to be reexamined for its authenticity.

Sometimes humility can be confused with low self-esteem, which would cause it to be unloving.

Humility brings love because it gives you the ability to rise above yourself and love another.

Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More expansive? Or does it inhibit and constrain me?

Exercise for the day: Before praying with humility and acknowledgment of God, give some charity. It will enhance your prayers.

The Daily Omer

Writing Through the Senses « DIY MFA

I love this website!
It's fun and easy to use and she gives great prompts and exercises.  This post is about something I have been working on lately:  writing from the senses.
I recently took a writing class from Madelyn Kent in Tel Aviv and she had us do exercises of this sort over and over. Madelyn is a playwright and she believes that the best writing comes from setting and emotions overlapping one another, which creates a area of conflict for the characters to workout their goals.
I found these kind of writing exercises makes my writing more "show" and less "tell", more now and grounded, instead of passive and once-removed reporting.

See what sense writing can do for you!

Writing Through the SensesWriting Through the Senses

As mentioned in Monday’s post, one great way to get new story ideas or kick-start your writing is to use the five senses.  In addition to helping spice up flat descriptions, the senses are also a great source of inspiration.  Here’s a short sampler of ways you can engage the five senses to get a new perspective in your writing.
This sense forces us to focus.  When we listen–really listen–to something, we zoom in and focus on it in depth.  It is important to practice listening and not just letting sounds wash over us, so we train our minds to pay attention.  This is the first of the senses that I always turn to because once I can focus, the writing comes naturally.
Warm up your writing chops by listening to some music.  The Planets by Gustav Holst is a great piece for just about any writer because each movement captures a completely different mood.  On Friday, I’ll share more of my favorite pieces of writing music.
To hear the different moods in Holst’s The Planets, click on the following links:
Mars     Venus      Mercury      Jupiter      Saturn      Uranus     Neptune

This is probably the one of the five senses that we use most often.  When we describe things in our writing, it’s easy to forget the other senses and focus only on what we see, because vision is so powerful.  But there are other ways we can use sight to inspire us as well.
Look at a painting or photograph and try to figure out the story behind it.  Who is the main character?  Why is he there?  If is photo or painting is a snapshot of a moment, what happened just before that moment?  What happens after?
Another exercise I love is going to a paint store and browsing the paint chips.  A color can sum up a mood in a way that would require dozens of words.  In fact, I often give my protagonists a “signature color” and post the paint chip on my bulletin board for as long as I’m working with that character.

Touch forces us to notice the little things.  When we close our eyes and ears, and rely only on our fingers, the ordinary things in life become extraordinary.  Try this: close your eyes and pick up a small object (a paper clip, a small stone, a seashell, etc.).  Let your fingers explore the object and notice all the minute details.  By examining a object through touch alone, you will notice things about it that you would not have picked up on otherwise.

This sense is all about interaction.  When we taste something, we gobble it up, drink it in and experience it from the inside out.  Taste also elicits very visceral reactions.  If we don’t like the taste of something, we know right away and we know it in our core.  When I need to access raw emotion, I turn to taste because there’s an immediacy to it that none of the other senses seems to capture in the same way.
Give your writing a jolt by tasting something that gives you a strong visceral response.  I often turn to jelly beans when I need to access this one of the five senses.

Finally, there’s smell.  This sense is unique because of all the senses, smell is the only one that has a direct pathway between the receptor (in this case the nose) and the memory center of the brain.  Think about it, smells often bring up unexpected memories or make you remember things that had been buried for years.  I know that whenever I smell one particular scent (which I can’t name because it’s a combination I can’t even describe) it makes me think of my grandmother’s house.  Smell is a powerful sense because it’s loaded with so much memory and emotion.

When I turn to smell, I use it to access memories.  This lavender lotion I use reminds me of a vacation I took years ago to Scandinavia.  The smell of coconut reminds me of drinking coconut water on the beaches of Brazil when visiting family.  If I need to remember a moment or put my character in a setting I visited long ago, I try to draw on a smell to bring that place to life.

The senses are such a powerful source of inspiration for writers that I have actually designed an entire writing course based on the five senses.  This course works equally well with adults or kids as young as elementary school because the senses are something that writers of all ages can latch onto and “get” pretty quickly.  For this reason, when I really need to jump-start my creativity, I often turn to the five senses early in the brainstorming process.  This is also why I thought it was important to introduce this concept early on because it’s something we’ll be talking about a lot as we continue through DIY MFA.

  • Do you use the five senses for inspiration?  
  • Which of the senses do you turn to most often?  
  • Which ones could use a little more attention?  
  • This week, choose one that you use less often and do something with with it to inspire some writing.

Sifirat HaOmer Day 29 -- Chesed of Hod: Loving-kindness in Humility


Day 29 -- Chesed of Hod: Loving-kindness in Humility

Examine the love in your humility. 

Healthy humility is not demoralizing; it brings love and joy not fear. 

Humility that lacks love has to be reexamined for its authenticity. 

Sometimes humility can be confused with low self-esteem, which would cause it to be unloving. Humility brings love because it gives you the ability to rise above yourself and love another. 

Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More expansive? Or does it inhibit and constrain me?

Exercise for the day: Before praying with humility and acknowledgment of God, give some charity. It will enhance your prayers.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer WEEK 5 - HOD - HUMILITY



During the fifth week of counting the Omer, we examine and refine the emotional attribute of Hod or humility. 

Humility -- and the resulting yielding -- should not be confused with weakness and lack of self-esteem. Hod or humility is modesty -- it is acknowledgment (from the root of the Hebrew word "hoda'ah"). It is saying "thank you" to God. 

It is clearly recognizing your qualities and strengths and acknowledging that they are not your own; they were given to you by God for a higher purpose than just satisfying your own needs. 

Humility is modesty; it is recognizing how small you are which allows you to realize how large you can become. And that makes humility so formidable.

A full cup cannot be filled. 

When you're filled with yourself and your needs, "I and nothing else", there is no room for more. When you "empty" yourself before something greater than yourself, your capacity to receive increases beyond your previously perceived limits. 

Humility is the key to transcendence; to reach beyond yourself. Only true humility gives you the power of total objectivity. 

Humility is sensitivity; it is healthy shame out of recognition that you can be better than you are and that you can expect more of yourself. Although humility is silent it is not a void. It is a dynamic expression of life that includes all seven qualities of love, discipline, compassion, endurance, humility, bonding and sovereignty.

Sifirat HaOmer Day 28 -- Malchus of Netzach: Nobility in Endurance


Day 28 -- Malchus of Netzach: Nobility in Endurance

Sovereignty is the cornerstone of endurance. 

 Endurance that encompasses the previous six qualities is indeed a tribute and testimony to the majesty of the human spirit. 

Is my endurance dignified? Does it bring out the best in me? 

When faced with hardships do I behave like a king or queen, walking proudly with my head up, confident in my God-given strengths, or do I cower and shrivel up in fear? 

Exercise for the day: Fight for a dignified cause.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Sifirat HaOmer Day 27 -- Yesod of Netzach: Bonding in Endurance


Day 27 -- Yesod of Netzach: Bonding in Endurance

Bonding is an essential quality of endurance. It expresses your unwavering commitment to the person or experience you are bonding with, a commitment so powerful that you will endure all to preserve it. 

Endurance without bonding will not endure.

Exercise for the day: To ensure the endurance of your new resolution, bond with it immediately. This can be assured by promptly actualizing your resolution in some constructive deed or committing yourself to another.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Getting Down to the Business of Writing A Book: A Step by Step Guide


Not everyone will want to write like this.  Many successful writers will tell you that they write from their characters and let them-the characters-take the story where it leads.
I find that I get stuck sometimes or lost or going to places that I didn't want to go.  So some structure helps me stay on track.  I liked this format and the ideas she has about writing a long piece.

Getting Down to the Business of Writing A Book: A Step by Step Guide

By Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem, M.Ed.
The ideas have rolled around in your head for long enough. In making a commitment to writing your book, setting up a structure is important.

In order to set clear expectations for yourself, you must have sections or chapters listed with a general idea of what will go in each. You may not end up with the same sections you start with in your first layout so don't be too worried about what you call the chapters yet. This gives a framework.

Once a general outline has been set, create a directory in the word processing folders with the proposed title. Within that directory, have two folders: Needing Work and Completed. You can make hard copy folders and print out the chapters as they are completed ready for the first reader to run through the whole book but this is optional depending how you like to review your work as you go along.

Take each section or chapter of the outline and cut and paste it into a new document. Save each by number and title or descriptive word in Needing Work. This breaks down the task of writing a book into smaller sections.

Note from Michal:  this process can be done many ways. You can do it by hand in a ring binder, for example. 
Another means is to use writing software or  I have started to use Evernote to collect my ideas, rough drafts and research in one place. It is searchable, and if you add tags to each entry, you can find all the related information with one click. You can also put your work in separate notebooks.
My brother, who is writing his PhD., uses a program called Scrivener.  He says it is the easiest way for him to organize his research notes, bibliography, footnotes and dissertation text.  It costs $40.00 US.

From their website: Most word processors approach composing a long-form text the same as typing a letter or flyer—they expect you to start on page one and keep typing until you reach the end. Scrivener lets you work in any order you want and gives you tools for planning and restructuring your writing. 

Writing the prologue or forward is the next task. In the prologue explain why you are writing and what you hope to tell your reader. This will help focus your intent and keep the reader in mind as you tell your story. You may or may not use it in the final book and that can be decided later.

If I want to tell how betrayal tested my faith in friendship, I make a note on the outline where I will introduce the character who betrayed me and in which chapter I want to disclose when and how I discovered the betrayal. I also add which chapter or chapters I deal with the issues and include points as examples. I will include what I did to resolve the betrayal. By having the details pre sorted through the story line, actually writing each sections is easier.

Many stories do not have an epilogue. The epilogue is written to tell the reader where the story went and what they have experienced or learned. By writing one early in the process you create an ending boundary so when you review the whole story you can see if you have accomplished your goal. Incorporating the information from this summation into the various chapters can help keep the story on track.

In the final version, there may not be a prologue or an epilogue but creating one gives a target that can be useful when editing. Ask: Does my story lead from a premise to a conclusion and if not what needs to change?

  • Do not get bogged down editing one chapter to make it "perfect" as this is too time consuming and there will be additions and sections deleted later.

I often find a section of writing that includes intense emotion can be written in one sitting.

 This is a great suggestion.  Whenever you are writing something with emotion, you have to give yourself the time to get into the character and the feelings.  It helps to keep going until you have said as much as you can about the feelings and issues involved. 
You can cut the piece later when you edit your story.

Writing about confronting fear involves getting into the feeling and paying attention to my physical reactions as well as my thoughts and feelings. Emotional relief cannot come until I have the experience poured out. This can be exhausting emotionally. I plan a break afterward and do something completely different to change my mood. I have a treat planned as an incentive to get into the emotion but also knowledge that I will not stay trapped in the intensity, once the piece is written.

Finally I will make another folder called Finished. I will use it after all the chapters have been moved to Completed and I am ready to read and give another editing beginning to end in sequence. Sometimes I will add more detail to something I previously thought was finished or remove words if I feel it is too lengthy.

The next step is putting all the Finished chapters into one document. Then the first reader goes through the whole book and makes suggestions. This needs to be someone who loves to read and who you trust will be objective. You do not need to take all of their suggestions but consider them carefully. This leads to rewrites and changes in flow and clarity. You may have to develop a character more or remove repetitive sections.

Then the detail editor will start. This will catch many more issues that need rewriting, corrections, removal and adjustments. The seemingly never ending process will eventually lead to the content of a book. It then goes to the interior designer. This can result in more changes and many decisions about layout and spacing.

Cover design is a whole project in itself.

Then comes choosing a printer, paper, size and much more.

So get serious about the process of writing and someday you will have a book to be proud of. Then you are going to need to market your book. It is an ongoing project, so get started!

Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem M.Ed., is a Marriage and Family Therapist with over 30 years clinical experience. She is a consultant to families and businesses on personal and professional relationships. Marilyn is also the author of books on personal growth through travel. Read free chapters and reviews at Quest Publishing.

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Sifirat HaOmer Day 26 -- Hod of Netzach: Humility in Endurance


Day 26 -- Hod of Netzach: Humility in Endurance

Yielding -- which is a result of humility -- is an essential element of enduring. Standing fast can sometimes be a formula for destruction. The oak, lacking the ability to bend in the hurricane, is uprooted. The reed, which yields to the wind, survives without a problem. Do I know when to yield, out of strength not fear? Why am I often afraid to yield?

Endurance is fueled by inner strength. Hod of Netzach is the humble recognition and acknowledgement that the capacity to endure and prevail comes from the soul that G-d gave each person. This humility does not compromise the drive of endurance; on the contrary, it intensifies it, because human endurance can go only so far and endure only so much, whereas endurance that comes from the Divine soul is limitless.

Do I attribute my success solely to my own strength and determination? Am I convinced that I am all-powerful due to my level of endurance? Where do I get the strength at times when everything seems so bleak?

Exercise for the day: When you awake, acknowledge G-d for giving you a soul with the extraordinary power and versatility to endure despite trying challenges. This will allow you to draw energy and strength for the entire day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Believe in yourself

This is a reprint of a blog post by my fellow writer, Jill Sadowsky.  She's supportive and she inspires me to write and keep on writing.

New post on Jill's Experiences with Mental Health

Believe in yourself

by Jill

How many of us say; 'I'll do it tomorrow?'
How many of us mean to do things but seldom get around to doing them?
Well, one day, my neighbor asked whether I'd like to spend the day with her. "Sure," I said. "Where are we going?"
"Surprise,"was all she would say.
We got into her car and drove  for a few miles then turned down a narrow road that was more like a path than a real road. On the right side as we drove in, I saw a handwritten sign in large upper case letters that read; DAFFODIL GARDEN.
We got out of the car and walked along the path. As we turned the corner, I looked up and gasped.  It looked as if someone had taken a great amount of gold and poured it over the mountain's slopes. The flowers bloomed in swirling patterns of deep orange, lemon, salmon and buttercup yellow. Each group of colors was planted in such a way so that it seemed to flow like a stream; each its own hue. What amazed me was that there were about  five acres of flowers.
"But ... who did this?" I asked my neighbor. "One woman was responsible for it all and she lives in that small house over there. We walked toward it and on the patio saw a poster saying;
Answers to all questions -
  • The first answer was; 50,000 bulbs.
  •  The second answer was; one at a time, by one woman;  two hands, two feet sand one brain.
  •  The third answer; began in 1958.
I thought of the woman I'd never met, who had begun forty years ago, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. By planting one bulb at a time, year after year, the unknown woman had forever changed the world and created something of extraordinary beauty and inspiration to others
Don't wait for tomorrow to say; "I love you. Say it now."
Don't wait for next week to organize your desk. Make time to do it.
Don't wait for tomorrow to start that healthy eating plan. Start now.
Don't wait till you retire to take that overseas trip that you have always wanted to take.
Don't visit family abroad only when it's for a funeral. Go when everyone is healthy and enjoy their company.
If you believe in something, it can come to pass. Believe in yourself.
Jill | 16/04/2012 at 5:06 pm | Categories: Mental Health Resources | URL:
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Sifirat HaOmer Day 25- Netzach of Netzach: Endurance in Endurance

Day 25- Netzach of Netzach: Endurance in Endurance

Everyone has willpower and determination. We have the capacity to endure much more than we can imagine, and to prevail under the most trying of circumstances.

Ask yourself: Is my behavior erratic? Am I inconsistent and unreliable? 

Since I have will and determination, why am I so mercurial? 

Am I afraid of accessing my endurance and committing?

Do I fear being trapped by my commitment? If yes, why? Is it a reaction to some past trauma? Instead of cultivating endurance in healthy areas, have I developed a capacity for endurance of unhealthy experiences? 

Do I endure more pain than pleasure?
Do I underestimate my capacity to endure?

Exercise for the day: Commit yourself to developing a new good habit.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Some Place Out of Sight

I see the old mezzuzah, black with tarnish on the entry door. I hear a radio playing quietly, classical music from the back bedroom. I see hazy light coming in the dusty living room windows. I remember when I was afraid to go near those windows because I thought I'd fall outside; they were so clean, it was impossible to tell if they were open or closed. I remember the plastic runners on the white carpet. I see the carpet is already grey, a long grey snake leading from the kitchen to the dining room. I see the out line of the old breakfront and the two sofas. I smell medicine, and unwashed body, rubbing alcohol wafting toward me. I wonder how a place once so full of life could be so full of dying.
I quietly close the front door. I hang up my coat in the hall closet and cause a harp string pinging of metal hangers.
The nurse careens around the corner into the entry hall and gasps.
'You scared me to death,' says the nurse. 'No one said you were coming.'
I shrug. This is still my house. She's still my grandmother. And you work for me, for her, for us, for the family.
'Is my grandmother awake?'
'No. She mostly sleeps now.'
I follow her down the hall and enter, the nurse in front of me, adjusting the IV, pulling on the sheet. Dust motes swirl in the air on the sunbeam from the window.
'Could you get me a glass of water, please?'
She huffs. 'I'm sorry but I only do nursing duties for the patient.'
'Then could you just leave the room?'
Her nostrils flare, and she frowns. She picks up a glass vial, morphine, drops it in her pocket. She points her chin up at me, and leaves.
I close the door and look at my bubbe.
The hospital bed looks so alien in the room. Everything in the room looks out of place: the folding chair and the floor lamp, the IV bag and pump and it's pole, the card table with the trays of cotton balls, wipes, syringes and a red and yellow sharps box, BIO-HAZARD bold on all its faces.
My eyes are burning and my throat feels dry and tight. It is hard to believe that this was once my room and on the other side of the door is my old apartment, the place I shared with my mother and sister all those years. I could have been anywhere.
Except at the window sill, my initials are still there, gouged in the wood and there are the teeth marks my sister and I had made, side by side, just to see if the wood could take the imprint of our teeth. Two semi-circles of marks, were we ever that small?
And my grandmother, Bubbe Esther, larger than life, kind and warm, smiling, patient, tucking me in and kissing me good night, powdery smelling and comforting. How could she be so reduced? 
 I turn to her and kiss her and pat her hands now, laying heavily on the white sheet at her side. Her hands are thin and white and cool, almost cold, and dry. They look withered, and there is a grey sticky mark from adhesive tape, crisscrossing the backs. Scabs and deep purple flowers of bruises from IV needles blossom there and on her wrist.  Papery and translucent, I rub her hand in mine and trace up her arm to the crude bluish black scrawl of numbers that she always kept hidden under her modest long sleeves. Out of modesty and never out of shame, because what did she have to be ashamed of, that they took her to that place? What did she do wrong?  She loves her G-d then and now, even if she is hardly ever awake anymore to say the Shema. It's all from G-d, I can hear her saying. Everything happens for a reason, and a reasonable person doesn't have to know why all the time. Some things you have to accept because that's what it is, she tells me in her impeccable Bubbe logic. 
 But it wasn't fair! I remember protesting and crying when I came home and told her that we learned about the Shoah in school. Wasn't it horrible what the Nazis did, how could they do that and she said she knew because she was there and they did it to her. My mom, shouting at her not to fill up my head with her horror stories, that I was too young and wouldn't be able to sleep for a week, and my mom was right, except that I haven't been able to sleep ever since then. It's always there before me, the awfulness of it, the dead and dying and the number on her arm and I want to scream, It's not fair, everyday of my life. My good, kind Bubbe, to do something that horrible to her. And now I ask myself what did G-d have in mind when He gave her such an awful disease? Pancreatic cancer. Inoperable. Untreatable. Painful. Wasn't giving someone an number on their arm enough for one person for one life? Hadn't she paid her dues? Shouldn't she deserve an easy end?
I feel my tears dripping off my chin and bile surging in my throat.
Couldn't someone have taken her home? Didn't someone have the room?
No money for a hospice. My uncles and my aunt thought this was the best solution.
So she's parked here, in this empty apartment, that no one has lived in for over two years.  Some place safe, cheap and secure.
Some place out of sight.
Tears splatter on the sheet, and onto her arm.
I squeeze her hand.
It's not fair, I whisper.

Sifirat HaOmer Day 24 -- Tiferet of Netzach: Compassion in Endurance


Day 24 -- Tiferet of Netzach: Compassion in Endurance

Healthy endurance, directed to develop good qualities and modifying bad ones, will always be compassionate. The compassion of endurance reflects a most beautiful quality of endurance: an enduring commitment to help another grow. 

Endurance without compassion is misguided and selfish. 

Endurance needs to be not just loving to those who deserve love, but also compassionate to the less fortunate. Does my determination compromise my compassion for others? 
Am I able to rise above my ego and empathize with my competitors? Am I gracious in victory?

Exercise for the day: Be patient and listen to someone who usually makes you impatient.