Counting the Omer: Week 6: Yesod by Ketzirah

The sixth week of the Omer focuses on Yesod (יסוד). This sephira is usually interpreted as Connection, Foundation, or Bonding. So that means we’ve journeyed from Chesed (Loving Kindness) to Gevurah (Strength) to Tifereth (Beauty/Compassion)to Netzach (Endurance/Victory) to Hod, and now on to Yesod.

Emor by By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

“And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: ‘Whosoever be of your seed…who has a blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For the man who has a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or one who is maimed, or anything too long. Or a man who is broken-footed, or broken-handed, or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or with a bad eye….” (Lev. 21:16-20)

Counting the Omer: Week 5: Hod by Ketzirah

The fifth week of the Omer focuses on Hod. This sephira is usually interpreted as Awe, Splendor, or Glory. So that means we’ve journeyed from Chesed (Loving Kindness) to Gevurah (Strength) to Tifereth (Beauty/Compassion) to Netzach (Endurance/Victory) and now to Hod.

Acharay Mote-Kedoshim By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

I am Aaron, brother of Moses. I am honored to be Kohen Gadol, the High Priest of Israel. Do not believe that my job or my life are easy. On the long-past Coronation Day of the Mishkan, God’s Sanctuary among His people, I recall how the cattle for sacrifice, the incense and grain-offerings were all made ready.

Counting the Omer: Week 4: Netzach by Ketzirah

The fourth week of the Omer focuses on Netzach (נצח). This sephira is usually interpreted as Victory, Eternity, or Endurance . So that means we’ve journeyed from Chesed (Loving Kindness)to Gevurah (Strength) to Tifereth (Beauty/Compassion) and now to Endurance/Victory. Netzach is a sephira of action. These are actions of compassion, but are often achieved through negative experiences. Netzach is the power to overcome obstacles.

Tazria-Metzora By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

I am Kevudah, the “honored one,” wife of Eleazar, Aaron’s third son—but his eldest, now that Nadav and Avihu are dead, killed by the hand of God—the flames of God, I mean. They offered “strange fire”—some mistake in preparing the incense, we believe, as well as guilty of taking a drop of mead prior to the service—we will never know for sure, since the two young men—boys, really—were totally immolated by God’s fire. Just as they were about to wave their incense-pans, too. Horrible, horrible way to die, at the hands of the God we are commanded to love. And Who loves us. I wonder.

Counting the Omer: Week 3: Tifereth by Ketzirah

Originally Posted to PeelaPom.com in 2010 For a primer on the Omer see “Week One: Chesed.”  For the schedule of the Omer, see Chabad’s Omer Calendar. The third week of the Omer focuses on Tifereth (תפארת).  This sephira is usually interpreted as Beauty or Compassion. So that means we’ve moved from Chesed (Loving Kindness) to Gevurah […]

Shemini: The Deaths of Nadav & Avihu, Sons of Aaron By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

I am Avihu, the second son of Aaron, the High Priest; my elder brother is Nadav. This is our Big Day. Aaron—that is, Dad—is to dedicate the Mishkan, the Holy Sanctuary of the Wilderness, the Place where the One True God is to dwell. We will participate in the Ceremony of Dedication, too.

Counting the Omer: Week 2: Gevurah by Ketzirah

The second week of the Omer focuses on Gevurah. There are so many ways people interpret this sephira. You see it described as severity, strength, judgement, discipline & measure, might, courage, and power — just to name a few. For me, my mind leaps directly to the Gevirah Netivah of Shekhinah — the Matriarch.

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The Passover Seder of Mottke the Coachman By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

In 1797, the richest and most ornate of Chasidic rebbes was born: Rebbe Yisroel of Rizhin, known as the Rizhiner. Unlike other rebbes, who lived in outright poverty, he loved wealth and to be surrounded by beautiful objects. His Chasidim, who were mostly poor, did their best to satisfy his wants, since the Rizhiner claimed direct descent from King David, and believed that he ought to imitate the lifestyle of his notable ancestor—not in personal behavior, but in his surroundings.