During the seventh and final week of counting the Omer, we examine and refine the attribute of Malchut – nobility, sovereignty and leadership. Sovereignty is a state of being rather than an activity. Nobility is a passive expression of human dignity that has nothing of its own except that which it receives from the other six emotions. True leadership is the art of selflessness; it is only a reflection of a Higher will. On the other hand, Malchut manifests and actualizes the character and majesty of the human spirit. It is the very fiber of what makes us human.
Malchut is a sense of belonging. Knowing that you matter and that you make a difference. That you have the ability to be a proficient leader in your own right. It gives you independence and confidence. A feeling of certainty and authority. When a mother lovingly cradles her child in her arms and the child’s eyes meet the mother’s affectionate eyes, the child receives the message: “I am wanted and needed in this world. I have a comfortable place where I will always be loved. I have nothing to fear. I feel like royalty in my heart.” This is Malchut, kingship.
Day 43 – Chesed of Malchut: Lovingkindness in Nobility
Healthy sovereignty is always kind and loving. An effective leader needs to be warm and considerate. Does my sovereignty make me more loving? Do I exercise my authority and leadership in a caring manner? Do I impose my authority on others?
Exercise for the day: Do something kind for your subordinates
Day 44 – Gevurah of Malchut: Discipline in Nobility
Although sovereignty is loving, it needs to be balanced with discipline. Effective leadership is built on authority and discipline. There is another factor in the discipline of sovereignty: determining the area in which you have jurisdiction and authority. Do I recognize when I am not an authority? Do I exercise authority in unwarranted situations? Am I aware of my limitations as well as my strengths? Do I respect the authority of others?
Exercise for the day: Before taking an authoritative position on any given issue, pause and reflect if you have the right and the ability to exercise authority in this situation.
Day 45 – Tiferet of Malchut: Compassion in Nobility
A good leader is a compassionate one. Is my compassion compromised because of my authority? Do I realize that an integral part of dignity is compassion? Tiferet – harmony – is critical for successful leadership. Do I manage a smooth-running operation? Am I organized? Do I give clear instructions to my subordinates? Do I have difficulty delegating power? Do we have frequent staff meetings to coordinate our goals and efforts?
Exercise for the day: Review an area where you wield authority and see if you can polish it up and increase its effectiveness by curtailing excesses and consolidating forces.
Day 46 – Netzach of Malchut: Endurance in Nobility
A person’s dignity and a leader’s success are tested by his endurance level. Will and determination reflect the power and majesty of the human spirit. How determined am I in reaching my goals? How strong is my conviction to fight for a dignified cause? How confident am I in myself? Is my lack of endurance a result of my low self-esteem? Do I mask my insecurities by finding other excuses for my low endurance level?
Exercise for the day: Act on something that you believe in but have until now been tentative about. Take the leap and just do it!
Day 47 – Hod of Malchut: Humility in Nobility
Sovereignty is G-d’s gift to each individual. Hod of Malchut is the humble appreciation of this exceptional gift. Does my sovereignty and independence humble me? Am I an arrogant leader? Do I appreciate the special qualities I was blessed with?
Exercise for the day: Acknowledge G-d for creating you with personal dignity
Day 48 – Yesod of Malchut: Bonding in Nobility
Examine the bonding aspect of your sovereignty. Healthy independence should not prevent you from bonding with another person. On the contrary: self-confidence allows you to respect and trust another’s sovereignty and ultimately bond with him. That bond will strengthen your own sovereignty, rather than sacrifice it. Does my sovereignty prevent me from bonding? Could that be because of deeper insecurities of which I am unaware? Do I recognize the fact that a fear of bonding reflects a lack of self-confidence in my own sovereignty?
Exercise for the day: Actualize your sovereignty by intensifying your bond with a close one.
Day 49 – Malchut of Malchut: Nobility in Nobility
Examine the sovereignty of your sovereignty. Does it come from deep-rooted inner confidence in myself? Or is it just a put-on to mask my insecurities? Does that cause my sovereignty to be excessive? Am I aware of my uniqueness as a person? Of my personal contribution?
Exercise for the day: Take a moment and concentrate on yourself, on your true inner self, not on your performance and how you project to others; and be at peace with yourself knowing that G-d created a very special person which is you.
After the 49 days of Counting the Omer, after having fully achieved inner renewal by merit of having assessed and developed each of our 49 attributes, we arrive at the fiftieth day. On this day we celebrate the Festival of Shavuot, the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah). After we have accomplished all we can through our own initiative, then we are worthy to receive a gift (matan) from Above which we could not have achieved with our own limited faculties. We receive the ability to reach and touch the Divine; not only to be cultivated human beings who have refined all of our personal characteristics, but divine human beings who are capable of expressing ourselves above and beyond the definitions and limitations of our beings.
This is an excerpt from “Counting the Omer – A Spiritual Guide” by Rabbi Simon Jacobson. This unique book is now available at our online store.