Omer Day 9: This Day


Today we encounter the essence of our strength: Gevurah sh’b’Gevurah. We receive, in double measure today, the gifts of restraint, the ability to pull in around our core and strengthen our soul-muscles. Today we practice awe and wonder, even though we think we are too busy for this, especially because we think we are too busy. We must practice awe regularly in order to gather the energy we need for the work of living. Otherwise we will tire too soon. There is a lean intelligence to this gate. I am giving in to it.

This Day

this doorway
the one I’ve been ignoring
calls to me
with a deep, corpuscular
knowledge of the heart.
With clear intention—
to look, to listen only
and to record—
I step
not into hall or pathway
but onto
the muddy bottom rung
of a tall ladder
that leads
I cannot say to what.
The boughs
of the arbor above
are densest green
and what I sense are
woven in the shade
illuminated nests
baskets, hanging
pouches, plump
with berries and wings
cradles in the canopy
I recognize only
by their songs
and by the way my body wants
to rise
and climb in.

The kernel at the core of Gevurah is the germ of our ability to give—like good yoginis, we pull in so that we may grow long in love. Like the discipline of keeping Shabbat, the wisdom of Gevurah sh’b’Gevurah is essential to us. We must open our mouths and be fed as we pass through this gate. We must fully take in the sweet and the savory offerings, so that we will live. This is not an optional gate. Do not pass it by. Love needs a good container, a channel through which to pour its joy, a cup with sides strong enough to overflow. Our days need doorways, and we need the discipline to enter them. Perhaps you can feel, or sense in some way, how firmly we are held in the communal counting, how surely and lightly we are turned? Gevurah sh’b’Gevurah is a dance well done. We grow from this turning.

From Through the Gates: A Practice for Counting the Omer. Image by D’vorah Horn from her set of Omer Practice Cards (2016).


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