This is the day of Tiferet within Netzach, balance within endurance. On this day, I think about how I have to balance my life with restoring rest in order to achieve my long-term goals. I know there have been times in my life when I have confused dedication with self-abuse. Being persistent and devoted – even for a very good cause – will not succeed without good self-care.
This is a lesson that seems well-suited to this week's Torah portion (Behar), which teaches, "Every seven years the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath of Adonai. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard" (Leviticus 25:4). Everything requires rest and renewal. Just as the productivity of the land must be balanced with the need to rest it, so do we need to make long-term choices that allow us to balance our lives with restoring rest. We all need time for our families, for letting go, for learning, and for renewal.
As I think about the journey of my life, with all of the goals and promises I have set for myself, I remember that there is no objective more worthy of being called, "holy to Adonai," than to give myself the time and space I need for my own renewal. On this 24th day of the Counting of the Omer, I commit to balancing my life, each day and throughout the years, with time to absorb the nutrients of learning, to be strengthened by connecting with family and community, and to allow myself to be healed with mental, physical and spiritual rest.
May this be a day in which you prepare yourself for the long journey of life by setting a practice of healing and restoring rest.
For the introduction to the Counting of the Omer, click on this link:
The First Day of the Counting of the Omer