The Hebrew Scriptures are not readily or easily understood by native English speakers, we post a weekly addition to regular Torah commentary. "Cutting to the Root" is intended to promote an understanding of the complexity of the Hebrew language and thereby gain a richer and deeper understanding of the Scriptures. It is our goal that these notes will teach tolerance and understanding.Please visit our web site at www.shefaisrael.com
Thursday, May 15, 2008
5th Week of the Omer
During the fifth week of the counting of the Omer, we examine and refine the emotional attribute of ‘Hod’ – humility or honor. Humility – and the resultant yielding – should not be confused with weakness and the lack of self-esteem. Humility and honor are modesty, it is the acknowledgement (from the Hebrew root ‘hoda’ah’). It is saying thank you to YHVH. It is clearly recognizing the source of your qualities and strengths as not being your own. They were given to us by YHVH for a purpose higher than just satisfying our own needs. It is by realizing how small we are that allows us realize how great we can become. And that makes humility so formidable.
A full cup cannot be filled. When you are filled with yourself and your needs, “I and nothing else”, there is no room for anything more. When you “empty” yourself before something greater than yourself, your capacity to receive increases beyond your previously perceived limits. Only true humility gives you the power of total objectivity. Humility is sensitivity; it is healthy shame out of recognition that you can be better than you sure and that you can expect more of yourself. Although humility is silent it is not a void. It is a dynamic expression of life that includes all seven qualities of love, discipline, compassion, endurance, humility, bonding and sovereignty.
Day 29 – Chesed of Hod: Loving-kindness in Humility
Examine the love in your humility. Healthy humility is not demoralizing; it brings love and joy not fear. Humility that lacks love has to be reexamined for its authenticity. Sometimes humility can be confused with low self-esteem, which would cause it to be unloving. Humility brings love because it gives you the ability to rise above yourself and love another. Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More expansive – do I find myself getting closer to the “un-loveable”? Or does it inhibit and constrain me?
Exercise for the day: Before praying with humility and acknowledgement of YHVH, give some charity – do a good deed to someone. It will enhance your prayer.
Day 30 – Gevurah of Hod: Discipline in Humility
Humility must be disciplined and focused. When should my humility cause me to compromise and when not? In the name of humility do I sometimes remain silent and neutral in the face of wickedness and evil? Humility must also include respect and awe for the person or experience before which you stand humble. If my humility is wanting, is it because I don’t respect another?
If we are not humble we cannot be taught. Yeshua said: “Blessed are the humble (commonly mistranslated as meek) for they shall inherit the earth” (Mat.5:5)
Exercise for the day: Focus on your reluctance to commit in a given area to see if it originates from a healthy, humble place.
Day 31 – Tiferet of Hod: Compassion in Humility
Look inwardly to see if your humility is compassionate. Does my humility cause me to be self-contained and anti-social or does it express itself in empathy for others. Is my humility balanced and beautiful? Or is it awkward? Just as humility brings compassion, compassion can lead one to humility. If you lack humility, try acting compassionately, which can help bring you humility.
Exercise for the day: Express a humble feeling in an act of compassion.
Day 32 – Netzach of Hod: Endurance in Humility
Examine the strength and endurance of your humility. Does my humility withstand a tough challenge? Am I firm in my positions or do I waffle in the name of humility? Humility and modesty should not cause one to feel weak or insecure. Netzach of Hod underscores the fact that true humility does not make you a doormat for others to step on; on the contrary, humility gives you an everlasting and enduring strength. Is my humility perceived as weakness? Does that cause others to take advantage of me?
Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the strength of your humility by initiating or actively participating in a good cause.
Day 33 – Hod or Hod: Humility in Humility
Everyone has humility and modesty in their hearts, the question is the measure and manner in which one consciously feels it. Am I afraid to be too humble? Do I mask and protect my modesty with aggressive behavior? Humility must also be examined for its genuineness. Is my humility really humble? Or is it yet another expression of arrogance? Do I take too much pride in my humility? Do I flaunt it? Is it self serving and with an agenda? Is my humility a crusade or is it genuine?
Exercise for the day: Be humble for humility’s sake
This day the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer – or Lag B’Omer is the only day permitted for weddings during the counting of the Omer. It is on this day that our daughter will be married this year!
Day 34 – Yesod of Hod: Foundation and Bonding in Humility
Humility should not be a lonely place. It ought to result in a deep bonding commitment. There is no stronger bond than one that comes out of humility. Does my humility spate me from the others or bring us closer? Does my humility bring results? Long term results? Does it create an everlasting foundation which I and others can build and rely on.
Exercise for the day: Use your humility to build something that you know will last.
Day 35 – Malchut of Yesod: Nobility in Humility
Walking humbly is walking tall! Dignity is the essence of humility and modesty. The splendor of humility is majestic and aristocratic. Humility that suppresses the human spirit and denies individual sovereignty is not humility at all. Does my humility make me feel dignified? Do I feel alive and vibrant?
Exercise for the day: Teach someone, by example, how humility and modesty enhance human dignity.