Counting the Omer Day 40 – Hod of Yesod

Hod of YesodHod of Yesod – splendor/humility of foundation/bonding.

Today is the 40th day of the counting of the omer. 40 days is a biblically interesting number. On the one hand it seems to be used just as a symbol for a moderately large number. On the other hand, it’s clearly associated with judgement and tests or trials. When God brought the flood in Noah’s generation it rained 40 days and nights. Moses was on the mountain fasting, waiting to receive God’s revelation of the ten commandments for 40 days and nights. The spies scouted out the land for 40 days, and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. There are several more examples.

But this time 40 days isn’t enough. We have to wait another ten days yet for the revelation that comes to us on Shavuot. Fortunately, unlike Moses, we haven’t had to fast while we were waiting!

True bonding with other people requires humility. If your ego fills up all your inner space you don’t have room for anyone else – you won’t really see them as they are. We’ve all experienced this at times, probably on both sides. In a conversation, if all a person is thinking about is what to say next – as opposed to taking the time to listen to the other person – a lack of humility is blocking bonding. You don’t bond so much with people who do an impressive job of talking – you bond more with people who do an impressive job of listening.

Being a good listener though means having some humility. If you are full of pride, your transmitter is stuck in the “on” position because you feel what you have to say is more important than what anyone else could possibly have to say.

Today, when we focus on “hod of yesod,” “Humility in bonding,” is a good day to pay attention to our interactions with others, and to try and bring a little more humility and be a better listener.

Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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