The week of chesed is almost over. Why do we start counting the Omer with a week dedicated to loving-kindness? Why not start with one of the other six? Think about the Exodus for a minute. Imagine you are an Israelite, having just been freed from slavery, with a long walk through the desert between you and the Promised Land. You can have all the strength, beauty, ambition, humility, connection, and leadership you want, but you're not going to get very far in a hot desert filled with hostile nations by yourself. You are going to need friends, people you trust, and people who aren't going to drive you crazy, to make it on this journey. Judaism starts with community and the foundation of any cohesive community is loving-kindness. In that light, it makes sense to start with chesed as the foundation of our spiritual growth, step one in a seven-week period of self-reflection and improvement.
|The Judean Desert|