Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Count the Omer: Day 9

Day 9: Gevurah sheb'Gevurah, Strength within Restraint
According to Jewish teaching, every person has within them a good inclination (yetzer hatov) and a bad inclination (yetzer hara). My rabbi in Nashville used to say that the mitzvot are like a dumbbell that we use to exercise our good inclination. Some of the mitzvot are positive ("do this") and some are negative ("don't do that"). Not only do we strengthen ourselves by doing the positive commandments, like reciting the morning prayers or wearing a yarmulke, but also by following the negative commandments, like limiting our diets by observing kashrut.