Counting the Omer: Yesod, Foundation

Though Maren Morris’ hit song, The Bones, was released in 2019, it touches upon an ancient truth: a A strong foundation is the key to any physical building, any relationship, and any life well-lived. 

This week, as we explore different Divine attributes while we count the Omer, we reach the attribute of Yesod, which means “Foundation” in Hebrew. 

According to the Kabbalists, Yesod is the sum of the attributes of the previous two weeks: Netzach (perseverance) and Hod (magnificence). It’s no secret that it takes grit to pursue the things that make life meaningful, even magnificent: fulfilling work, healthy relationships, self-reflection, and righteous action, just to name a few. But without a sense of their worth, without a sense of wonder and awe in their pursuit, our perseverance won’t last very long, and it can become hard to stay motivated in the quest for meaning and joy. Our mystical wisdom says that when we combine these two attributes of perseverance and magnificence, we lay a solid foundation in our own lives, and God lays a solid spiritual foundation in our universe.   

This past Monday, hundreds of members and friends of our community gathered for our JCP 2023 Annual Benefit. We heard incredible tributes during the evening, and one sentiment was strong throughout: This community serves as a Yesod, an anchor and foundation, on our journeys through life. Through joyful moments, challenges, and everything in between, JCP surrounds us with the love and support that we need, and helps us discover the beauty of Jewish tradition and the power of community. 

JCP is a beautiful example of the strong foundation that can be built when we combine the attributes of perseverance and magnificence. When this neighborhood was devastated after 9/11, JCP’s founders had the vision and determination to create a community that could support strong and vibrant Jewish life downtown. Since then, we have done the important work of sustaining this community, thanks to the commitment and dedication of staff, leadership, and members alike. I believe this commitment stems from the inherent beauty and magnificence of what we are building. JCP is a perfect example of how Netzach and Hod come together to create a beautiful Yesod in our lives. 

The Book of Proverbs teaches: “The righteous one is an everlasting foundation” (10:25). May JCP serve as this everlasting foundation in our own lives and for generations to come. 

Shabbat shalom,