Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Humble Kindness - The 5th day of the Omer


The Sephirah of the Omer's first week is Chesed. Chesed is kindness which motivates a person to give of himself - physically, financially, emotionally - to another.

However, the Sephirah of the fifth day of each Omer week is Hod. Hod is glory, but it is a particular form of glory. The kabbalists linked the word הוד (hod) with הודאה (hodaah), meaning "thanks" or "confession", to deduce that הוד is a glorious humility.

The combined Sephirah for Day 5 of the Omer is Hod sheb'Chesed, "glorious kindness". This title suggests kindness which is rooted in glorious humility.

We have already learned (in Day 3: Tiferet sheb'Chesed) that we should give respectfully, but here we see that we should give humbly, with an awareness that our ability to give does not, in itself, mean we are better than others. Judaism uses the term 'tzedakah' to indicate that giving to others is 'tzedek', justice; as King David said to G-d (Divrei haYamim I 29:14), "All comes from You, and from Your own we give to You."

Wednesday night's Sephirah reminds us that although we are happy that we can help others, we don't take credit - and this trait is, itself, our glory.

מועדים לשמחה,

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