Monday, April 27, 2015

Count the Omer 2015: Day 23

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Day 23: Gevurah within Netzach
Power within Endurance
How does endurance impact power? One might say that a powerful person's legacy will endure, but I think it is just as easy to say that an enduring memory gains a power of its own.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Count the Omer 2015: Day 22


Day 22: Chesed within Netzach
Loving-kindness within Eternity
You've Got Mail

Ah, You've Got Mail. This is a great movie. It's got everything you miss about the late 1990s: young Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, independently-owned bookstores (ok, even giant bookstores), dial-up internet, and that familiar cheerful AOL voice saying, "you've got mail!" Now, the movie looks dated; I mean, look at Tom Hanks' computer in this scene. Even the concept of receiving an emailed letter from a stranger (or a friend) is outdated. All I ever get is junk mail, spam, and occasionally a friend sends me a link to an interesting article. Needless to say, this movie would be very different today.

Why am I going on about You've Got Mail? Because of this scene, of course. If you haven't seen he movie, you really should, but let me give you some context for this scene. Tom Hanks, the owner of Fox Books (basically, Borders), is building a branch of his giant bookstore down the street from Meg Ryan's independently-owned, family-operated bookstore. Since he is putting her out of business, she dislikes him. At the same time, the two become anonymous email acquaintances and find that they have a lot in common. After some back-and-forth, they agree to meet at a coffee house, but when Tom Hanks arrives and realizes that he has been emailing with Meg Ryan, he backs out of the meeting, choosing instead to confront her as the jerk who is putting her out of business instead of the pen pal she has come to know and trust. Embarrassed at being stood up and hurt by the appearance of her professional enemy, Meg Ryan lashes out at him. We see her regret her harsh words in this scene.

Hindsight is 20/20 and with some distance from a problem, we can look back on it in context. It is easy to be kind in hindsight, but today should remind us that it is equally important, if not more so, to be kind in the here and now.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Count the Omer 2015: Day 21


Day 21: Malchut within Tiferet
Kingdom within Balance
"When God began to create heaven and earth - the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water - God said 'Let there be light'; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and he darkness God called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day." -Bereishit
How does balance impact kingdom? God began the world with balance: night and day, earth and sky, sun and moon. The balance is what makes God's kingdom - our life on Earth - beautiful.
Sunset in Tel Aviv