Omer Day Twelve:
27 Nisan 5780
Tuesday 21 April 2020
Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day
Today, Yom HaShoah, we remember and mourn the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust. In our spiritual practice of the Counting the Omer, today focuses on humility within strength, Hod within Gevurah. Particularly in this time of isolation we must simultaneously hold the needs of ourselves as individuals, the needs of our individual communities, and the needs of all other communities who make up the larger ecosystems in which we live. So we turn again to the Shema, today listening and reflecting on how this beautiful Haiku holds both the particular and the universal in Jewish tradition.
Shema Yisrael — Listen, you G!d-wrestlers! Pay attention. Call yourselves into divine presence.
Adonai Eloheinu — Adonai is our G!d, the G!d of our ancestors, particular in their relationship to us the Jewish people;
Adonai Echad — Adonai is One, a unified presence, the divinity of sacred interconnectedness between all peoples and all living beings on this world and all others;
Millions of Jews and millions of others considered “subhuman” were murdered during the Holocaust. As we remember and honor our Jewish ancestors who were lost, we allow for the particular grief and sorrow felt through the loss of those within our closest circles. And as we remember and honor all the other lives lost, and bring our presence both to far away lands and to the lands in which we currently inhabit, we allow for the more universal grief and sorrow that affects us with the loss of any life.
Lighting a candle, we hold the humility that our lives stand on the lives and work of every generation that has come before us; and we embrace the strength they give us to persevere in our work towards liberation for all.
☀️Omer Day 12 practice [27 Nisan 5780 | Tuesday 21 April 2020] ☀️
- Light a candle;
- Sit in a comfortable, grounded position; begin a meditation timer, close your eyes, breath deeply;
- Upon the first chime, recite Shema, calling yourself into presence, followed by listening meditation for your own voice (2 minutes)
- Upon the second chime, recite Shema again, calling in and honoring the presence of our familial and communal ancestors, both Jewish and otherwise, followed by listening meditation for their voices (2 minutes)
- Upon the third chime, recite Shema, calling in and honoring the presence of all those whose lives have intersected ours, this land, and this place, followed by listening meditation for their voices (2 minutes)
- Upon the fourth and final chime, take three deep breaths, flutter your eyes open and end your practice when ready;
- Keep candle lit (if safe) and let the candle burn all the way through;
- Seat or floor space for sitting
- Candle (eg Shabbat candle but any will work)
- Meditation timer capable of chiming at start of practice then 2-minute intervals
✨Practice Notes ✨
- Full words of Shema: Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad
- You might chant the Shema in one breath, or alternatively chant slowly with one full breath for each word; chant at whatever volume feels right for you;
- Our third recitation invokes indigenous land acknowledgement practices; if you are not familiar with the indigenous peoples who currently and historically are or have been been in relationship with the land where you live, particularly for those of us living in places where we ourselves are not indigenous, we highly recommend that you a) do some research before or after today’s practice to learn who these peoples are; b) find ways to get into relationship with indigenous communities living in or near your own community; here is a good place to start;
☀️This post is part of our Omer Wellness Series – a daily 7-minute opportunity for introspection and intentional focus on caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment in this incredibly challenging time. ☀️
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