Counting the Omer: Day 32 — Endurance in Humility

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Leigh Grode

During the fifth week of counting the Omer, we focus and refine the emotional attribute of Hod – humility. Humility ― and the resulting yielding ― should not be confused with weakness and lack of self-esteem. Hod/humility is modesty ― it is acknowledgment (from the root of the Hebrew word “hoda’ah”). It is saying “thank you” to God. It is clearly recognizing one’s qualities and strengths and acknowledging that they are not our own; they were given to us by God for a higher purpose than just satisfying ones own needs. Humility is modesty; it is recognizing how finite we are which can allow one to realize how infinite we can become.

A full cup cannot be filled. When one is consumed with self-centeredness and selfishness, there is no room for more. When we “empty” ourselves (emotionally and spiritually) we stand before something greater than ourselves – G-d, the individuals’ capacity to receive increases beyond ones previously perceived limits. Humility is an important path to transcendence; to reach beyond oneself. Only true humility gives one the power of total objectivity. Humility is sensitivity; it is healthy recognition that each of us can be better than we are and that we can expect more of ourselves. 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.

In addressing the strength and endurance of our humility, we ask: does our humility withstand challenges? Is our positions firm or are we open for a different point of view? Humility and modesty are clean and should not cause one to feel weak and insecure. Netzach of Hod emphasizes that true humility does not make one less than; on the contrary, humility gives you the quietness of enduring strength.

Exercise for the day: When one comes across another who’s opinion or experience is very different from their own, remove the need to be right and the closed door rigidity that keeps us locked in. And ask G-d for the ability to hear, quiet yourself and say yes.

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