Counting the Omer: Week Six
During the sixth week of counting the Omer, we examine and refine the emotional attribute of Yesod or bonding. Bonding means connecting; not only feeling for another, but being attached to him. Not just a token commitment, but total devotion. It creates a channel between giver and receiver. Bonding is eternal. It develops an everlasting union that lives on forever through the perpetual fruit it bears.
Bonding is the foundation of life. The emotional spine of the human psyche. Every person needs bonding to flourish and grow. The bonding between mother and child; between husband and wife; between brothers and sisters; between close friends. Bonding is affirmation; it gives one the sense of belonging; that “I matter”, “I am significant and important”. It establishes trust – trust in yourself and trust in others. It instills confidence. Without bonding and nurturing we cannot realize and be ourselves.
Day 36 – Chesed of Yesod: Lovingkindness of Bonding
Love is the heart of bonding. You cannot bond without love. Love establishes a reliable base on which bonding can build. If you have a problem bonding, examine how much you love the one (or the experience) with which you wish to bond. Do I try to bond without first fostering a loving attitude? Is my bonding expressed in a loving manner?
Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the bond you have with your child or friend through an act of love.
Day 37 – Gevurah of Yesod: Discipline of Bonding
Bonding must be done with discretion and careful consideration with whom and with what you bond. Even the healthiest and closest bonding needs “time out”, a respect for each individual’s space. Do I overbond? Am I too dependent on the one I bond with? Is he too dependent on me? Do I bond out of desperation? Do I bond with healthy, wholesome people?
Exercise for the day: Review the discipline in your bonding experiences to see if it needs adjustment.
Day 38 – Tiferet of Yesod: Compassion in Bonding
Bonding needs to be not only loving but also compassionate, feeling your friend’s pain and empathizing with him. Is my bonding conditional? Do I withdraw when I am uncomfortable with my friend’s troubles?
Exercise for the day: Offer help and support in dealing with an ordeal of someone with whom you have bonded.
Day 39 – Netzach of Yesod: Endurance in Bonding
An essential component of bonding is its endurance; its ability to withstand challenges and setbacks. Without endurance there is no chance to develop true bonding. Am I totally committed to the one with whom I bond? How much will I endure and how ready am I to fight to maintain this bond? Is the person I bond with aware of my devotion?
Exercise for the day: Demonstrate the endurance level of your bonding by confronting a challenge that obstructs the bond.
Day 40 – Hod of Yesod: Humility of Bonding
Humility is crucial in healthy bonding. Arrogance divides people. Preoccupation with your own desires and needs separates you from others. Humility allows you to appreciate another person and bond with him. Healthy bonding is the union of two distinct people, with independent personalities, who join for a higher purpose than satisfying their own needs. True humility comes from recognizing and acknowledging G-d in your life. Am I aware of the third partner – G-d – in bonding? And that this partner gives me the capacity to unite with another, despite our distinctions.
Exercise for the day: When praying acknowledge G-d specifically for helping you bond with others.
Day 41 – Yesod of Yesod: Bonding in Bonding
Every person needs and has the capacity to bond with other people, with significant undertakings and with meaningful experiences. Do I have difficulty bonding? Is the difficulty in all areas or only in certain ones? Do I bond easily with my job, but have trouble bonding with people? Or vice versa? Examine the reasons for not bonding. Is it because I am too critical and find fault in everything as an excuse for not bonding? Am I too locked in my own ways?
Is my not bonding a result of discomfort with vulnerability? Have I been hurt in my past bonding experiences? Has my trust been abused? Is my fear of bonding a result of the deficient bonding I experienced as a child?
To cultivate your capacity to bond, even if you have valid reasons to distrust, you must remember that G-d gave you a Divine soul that is nurturing and loving and you must learn to recognize the voice within, which will allow you to experience other people’s souls and hearts. Then you can slowly drop your defenses when you recognize someone or something you can truly trust.
One additional point: Bonding breeds bonding. When you bond in one area of your life, it helps you bond in other areas.Exercise for the day: Begin bonding with a new person or experience you love by committing designated time each day or week to spend together constructively.
Day 42 – Malchut of Yesod: Nobility in Bonding
Bonding must enhance a person’s sovereignty. It should nurture and strengthen your own dignity and the dignity of the one you bond with. Does my bonding inhibit the expression of my personality and qualities? Does it overwhelm the one I bond with?
Exercise for the day: Emphasize and highlight the strengths of the one with whom you bond.
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.