HesedLit. Kindness It is said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that the world stands on three things: Torah (learning), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness). of Yesod – Love of Commitment
When she first offered to do my dishes, I did not think much of it. Scraping bits of food off soapy plates might seem disconnected from yesod, commitment, but I have since learned that love often emerges through unexpected corridors.
Sometimes, the most sacred acts of love appear through the most mundane of household chores: washing all the dirty bowls in the sink, sweeping the kitchen floor, or making the bed. Strengthening commitment of love often quietly develops from tasks we consider unholy. Going grocery shopping, walking the dog, shoveling snow. Weeding the garden, paying bills, cooking dinner. Having the pleasure and benefit of another person wading alongside you through day-to-day necessities is usually taken for granted.
On this day of the OmerFrom 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., Hesed of Yesod, let us take a minute to bless these moments of soft, unremitting love. Let us bless the connection between love and commitment as we bless the marriage of dustpan and broom, soap and sponge, salt and ice.
Image by D’vorah Horn from her set of Omer Practice Cards (2016).