This is the day of Gevurah within Hod, discipline within humility. On this day, I think about the thin line that can divide true humility from self-degradation. Humility without the constraints of self-discipline can easily descend into soul-crushing nihilism. Paradoxically, humility taken to such an extreme becomes a form of egotism – as if one were to proclaim to the universe, "Look at how selfless I am!"
You know the joke about the rabbi and the synagogue president? Each of them proclaims how unworthy he is of all the adulation and authority he has received from the community. "Really," each of them says, "I am nothing." A simple volunteer in the synagogue overhears their conversation and says, "Yes, I too feel that I am so unworthy of all I have been given. In reality, I know that I am nothing." After the volunteer leaves, the rabbi turns to the president and sniggers, "Look who thinks he's nothing!" Some kinds of humility are not real humility.
On this 30th day of the Counting of the Omer, I commit to a renewing and growing in appreciation for the people and the world around me, and also a healthy and realistic appreciation of myself.
May this be a day in which you find strength and confidence in the awareness of the gifts you have been given and the gifts you have to offer.
For the introduction to the Counting of the Omer, click on this link:
The First Day of the Counting of the Omer