Your Guide to Personal
Counting the Omer: Week Five
During the fifth week of counting the Omer, we examine and
refine the emotional attribute of Hod or humility. Humility
and the resulting yielding should not be confused
with weakness and lack of self-esteem. Hod or humility is
modesty - it is acknowledgment (from the root of the Hebrew
word "hoda'ah"). It is saying "thank you"
to G-d. It is clearly recognizing your qualities and strengths
and acknowledging that they are not your own; they were given
to you by G-d for a higher purpose than just satisfying your
own needs. Humility is modesty; it is recognizing how small
you are which allows you to realize how large you can become.
And that makes humility so formidable.
A full cup cannot be filled. When you're filled with yourself
and your needs, "I and nothing else", there is no
room for more. When you "empty" yourself before
something greater than yourself, your capacity to receive
increases beyond your previously perceived limits. Humility
is the key to transcendence; to reach beyond yourself. Only
true humility gives you the power of total objectivity. Humility
is sensitivity; it is healthy shame out of recognition that
you can be better than you are and that you can expect more
of yourself. 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.
Day 29 - Chesed of Hod: Lovingkindness in Humility
Examine the love in your humility. Healthy humility is
not demoralizing; it brings love and joy not fear. Humility
that lacks love has to be reexamined for its authenticity.
Sometimes humility can be confused with low self-esteem, which
would cause it to be unloving. Humility brings love because
it gives you the ability to rise above yourself and love another.
Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More
expansive? Or does it inhibit and constrain me?
Exercise for the day: Before praying with humility and
acknowledgment of G-d, give some charity. It will enhance
Day 30 - Gevurah of Hod: Discipline in Humility
Humility must be disciplined and focused. When should
my humility cause me to compromise and when not? In the name
of humility do I sometimes remain silent and neutral in the
face of wickedness? Humility must also include respect and
awe for the person or experience before whom you stand humble.
If my humility is wanting, is it because I don't respect another?
Exercise for the day: Focus in on your reluctance to commit
in a given area to see if it originates from a healthy, humble
Day 31 - Tiferet of Hod: Compassion in Humility
Examine if your humility is compassionate. Does my humility
cause me to be self-contained and anti-social or does it express
itself in empathy for others. Is my humility balanced and
beautiful? Or is it awkward? Just as humility brings compassion,
compassion can lead one to humility. If you lack humility,
try acting compassionately, which can help bring you to humility.
Exercise for the day: Express a humble feeling in an act
Day 32 - Netzach of Hod: Endurance in Humility
Examine the strength and endurance of your humility. Does
my humility withstand challenges? Am I firm in my positions
or do I waffle in the name of humility? Humility and modesty
should not cause one to feel weak and insecure. Netzach of
Hod underscores the fact that true humility does not make
you into a "doormat" for others to step on; on the
contrary, humility gives you enduring strength. Is my humility
perceived as weakness? Does that cause others to take advantage
Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the strength of your
humility by initiating or actively participating in a good
Day 33 - Hod of Hod: Humility in Humility
Everyone has humility and modesty in their hearts, the
question is the measure and manner in which one consciously
feels it. Am I afraid to be too humble? Do I mask and protect
my modesty with aggressive behavior? Humility must also be
examined for its genuineness. Is my humility humble? Or is
it yet another expression of arrogance? Do I take too much
pride in my humility? Do I flaunt it? Is it self-serving?
Is my humility part of a crusade or is it genuine?
Exercise for the day: Be humble just for its own sake.
Day 34 - Yesod of Hod: Bonding in Humility
Humility should not be a lonely experience. It ought to
result in deep bonding and commitment. There is no stronger
bond than one that comes out of humility. Does my humility
separate me from others or bring us closer? Does my humility
produce results? Long term results? Does it create an everlasting
foundation upon which I and others can rely and build.
Exercise for the day: Use your humility to build something
Day 35 - Malchut of Hod: Nobility in Humility
Walking humbly is walking tall. Dignity is the essence
of humility and modesty. The splendor of humility is majestic
and aristocratic. Humility that suppresses the human spirit
and denies individual sovereignty is not humility at all.
Does my humility make me feel dignified? Do I feel alive and
Exercise for the day: Teach someone how humility and modesty
enhance human dignity.
This is an excerpt from Counting the Omer
A Spiritual Guide by Rabbi Simon Jacobson. This unique
book is now available at our online