Olam chesed yibaneh – I will build this world with love
(Psalm 89:3, translation by Rabbi Brad Artson)
We are in the period of Sefirat Ha’Omer, the counting of the forty-nine days from the second day of Passover until the festival of Shavuot. We mark the days between coming out of Egypt until we reenact receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. This period of wandering in the wilderness is a time ripe for spiritual growth. We are given space in the calendar to sit with the scars of exile and to let healing take hold. Kabbalistic writings link each of the forty-nine days to a unique manifestation of aspects of the Divine that can be found within us and in the world around us. This first week is the week of chesed, love. As we count the Omer, we tap into the flow of lovingkindness and compassion. In a world where there is so much senseless hatred, we remember our great potential to rebuild the world through acts of love. This season, what would it look like to deal with ourselves and one another with an extra measure of love?