COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.
Day 43: Chesed she b’Malchut
The Blessing (Day 43):
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sephirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, G-D, Source of Everything, You make us holy through your mitzvot, commanding us to count the Omer.
Ha yom arbaim v’shlosha yom, shehem shisha shavuot v’yom echad l’Omer.
Today is the forty-third day, which makes six weeks and one day of the Omer.
Week Seven – Malchut (Indwelling Presence/Manifestation)
Day Forty-three: Chesed she b’Malchut (Lovingkindness within Indwelling Presence) – RIGHT SHOULDER to BETWEEN FEET/AT MOUTH
Here we are – the final week of the counting of the Omer. We pause for a moment, reflecting on the work and preparation we have done over the last six weeks since we began the journey of moving with intention toward our spiritual harvest. Malchut is the sephira of Manifestation. It is located at the bottom of the tree of life, where it receives the fruits of the past six weeks of spiritual growth. The base of the tree is also where roots and trunk connect, reminding us that strong, deep roots keep every tree alive and upright. Our focus over the last six weeks has created a deeper appreciation of this connection as well as the influence of G-D’s constant Presence within us.
Over the last six weeks we made great strides in our pursuit of understanding and insight into ourselves and our connections with G-d. Judaism insists, however, that mere contemplation is not enough. The insights and knowledge we receive must be used to transform the world. This happens in the sefirah of Malkhut, where all that we have learned and understand is brought into an actualized reality in some form, as action or words. We think, we organize, and finally, we speak and act. This Manifestation, when done as a response to the Divine intent, becomes the mirror of Keter (Crown – the uppermost sephira of Kabbalah located at the fontanel of the skull, the opening that connects us to the Divine energy and G-D’s will). As the mirror of Keter, this Manifestation becomes not only a vision of G-D’s will, but a reality of human effort to perform G-D’s will.
This final week of the Omer is like Shabbat, a time of reflection and peace, of spiritual contemplation. As we do a final repetition of the cycle of the Tree of Life for this year, we take this opportunity to revisit each of the sephirot in preparation for receiving revelation on Shavuot (the day we celebrate the giving of the Torah to our people).
The first Sephirot we consider in this week of Malchut is Chesed. Chesed (lovingkindness) influences Malchut (manifestation) when we recognize the protecting compassion of G-D as our ideal parent – guiding, counseling, influencing, loving, guarding. Today, we remember that the caring Presence always surrounds and shields us through Lovingkindness.
We can all consider how Lovingkindness influences our Actions and G-D’s Presence within them. There is a line from a Beatles song that reminds us: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” Today, consider the wisdom of offering a spontaneous hug, making fleeting eye contact with an old woman on the street, or giving tzedakah (charity) anonymously and how Chesed influences these Actions. The recipients of these acts of compassion are not only those who have been identified as “needy”, but all of us. In this way, we are completing G-D’s desire for Lovingkindness in the world.
*The basis of the information in today’s topic comes from and is inspired by Rabbi Min Kantrowitz’s book “Counting the Omer: A Kabbalistic Meditation Guide”