I can feel the energy of the mountain. Our pace has quickened. There are gifts awaiting.
Day 45. We’re close now. Anticipation has become excitement. The goal is in reach. I can feel the energy of the mountain. Our pace has quickened. There are gifts awaiting.
This is what I imagine I’d write in a small pocket journal if counting the From the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days. were a physical journey, an endurance hike of seven weeks. Being out on the trail is an apt metaphor, as suggested in “The Long Road Ahead: Omer 10, Tiferet sh’be’Gevurah.” On day 10, however, the weight of the journey can bog us down. On day 45, the nearness of our goal lightens the load.
Malchut—Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership—is feminine. Malchut receives the energies of the other six (pl of sefirah) In Kabbalah, the 10 “attributes” – channels of Divine energy – via which God interacts with creation. and actualizes them. In terms of our trail metaphor, we’ve been working the trail for weeks. Unexpectedly, we realize that the trail has been working us the whole time, getting us ready to receive the gifts of personal growth, spiritual awareness, connection with creation, connection with God and the gift of The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. at the end.
We’ve become strong on the trail. Exercising our spiritual muscles with real work. Deep work. Suddenly, when we reach Malchut we become aware that the work we’ve done has paid off, and we’re ready to receive the gifts of our labor. And we’re prepared to share those gifts.
As we move through the week of Malchut, one more twist in the trail awaits. Tiferet sh’be’Malchut, Compassion in Nobility. At night, we count. In the morning, we sing God’s special praises. Lit. “Praise” The Hallel prayers are additional prayers taken from Psalms 113-118 and are traditionally recited on the Jewish holidays of Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Rosh Chodesh, and Hanukah.. Day 45 is also The new moon, which marks the beginning of the Jewish month. According to tradition, because women did not participate in the sin of the golden calf, they were given the holiday of Rosh Chodesh. It is customary for women not to work on Rosh Chodesh. Sivan. From here until Shavuot is the holiday fifty days after Passover and commemorates when the Israelite liberation from Egypt culminates with the giving of the Torah. Traditionally, Jews study in an all-night study session, eat dairy products (one interpretation is that the Torah is like milk to us), and read both the Ten Commandments and the Book of Ruth., the songs of Hallel linger on in our hearts. We are approaching God’s holy mountain, the entire point of this journey. We are living praises of God’s majesty.
Yet, we are still not quite ready, still not quite there. We have choices to make. And the choice is a choice of Malchut, of actualizing what has been learned, of living and sharing what has been received.
This is the point of Sovereignty and Nobility. We don’t approach the mountain—and we can’t keep the gifts—unless we’re ready to step into the next journey, the one that comes after we receive Torah. To take the gifts we’ve been given and to share them—in love—with the world. This is the compassion in nobility. To give these gifts away.
For Sharing Divine Gifts
Daughter of man,
Son of woman,
People of divine light:
What do you do with your gifts?
How do you use your radiance
And your might?
Your intellect and your passion?
Do you leave them buried within,
Untouched and unused?
Do you pursue justice and healing,
Charity and consolation?
Men of honor and purpose,
Women of integrity and strength:
Cast off your idle ways.
Banish your selfish pursuits.
Exile your vain hopes.
There is joy in every kindness,
Blessing and salvation in every gift of the heart.
Come you children of G-d,
You witnesses of wonder and awe,
There are miracles inside you,
Holy gifts of communion and grace
That yearn to burst forth in celebration of G-d’s holy name.
Answer the call to Divine service.
Then, your lives will become a blessing,
A well a love,
A source of splendor,
Abundant in joy and courage.
Blessed are You, Source of miraculous gifts,
You rejoice in deeds of the heart.
“For Sharing Diving Gifts” is © 2013 Kavanot Press from Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.
Alden Solovy is a Jewish poet, liturgist and teacher whose prayers have been used by people of all faiths around the world. The author of This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day, his more than 650 new prayers appear in multiple anthologies, prayer books and websites. His work can be found at tobendlight.com.