Count the Omer & Find your Soulmate
by Rachel Heiser
Who is Omer? Sounds familiar. Hmm. Is he that Israeli who played for the Cavs while LeBron was in Miami? Nah, that’s Omri. Omri Caspi. So, who is Omer?
Well, Omer is not a who. Omer is a what.
Most Jews are familiar with Passover and even attended a Seder or two last month. Not as many people know about counting the Omer.
Wait! This is not a religious school lesson. This is about YOU! So, don't tune out.
The counting of the Omer is the process of counting the 49 days between Passover Seder and Shavuot, which is the celebration of receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai. This year it falls on Memorial Day Weekend. Some Jews use this counting as a time to reflect on their lives each day in a different way. It is a way of getting mentally prepared to celebrate on Shavuot; kind of like a March Madness for Judaism.
Similar to Madonna and Ashton Kutcher, I find some Kabbalah teachings interesting. According to Kabbalah, there are seven (7) attributes of our soul: Kindness, Restraint, Harmony, Ambition, Humility, Connection and Receptiveness. Each day we can combine two elements like Kindness in Kindness or Restraint in Kindness to reflect on how we can find peace and improvement in our soul.
If one follows this path of reflection you will see that the main components of this reflection go from what we do for others (Kindness, Restraint, Harmony) to what we do for ourselves (Ambition, Humility). Then, in the end, it’s what brings us together (Connection, Receptiveness).
Whether or not you count the Omer, you can still make a list, write it on a calendar or put it in your iPhone. Take the time to reflect. Hike in the Metroparks (with a friend for safety), walk the labyrinth at Ursuline, or sit in the atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Find your place to think. This process of assessing your soul is a good guide to help you find your soulmate.
Take time each day to think what am I doing to be my best? What can I do better? What do I want out of life? How am I being Kind for the sake of Connecting or how can I show Restraint in order to create Harmony? After 49 days of reflection, you can be a better you. You can also be better equipped to connect your soul with your soulmate’s. Perhaps that person will join you on your next hike past Squire’s Castle or stroll through the Impressionism Wing.
Rachel Heiser is President and CEO of Cleveland Yentas, a non-profit, for-purpose organization in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland Yentas is a Jewish Matchmaking service for single Jews over 21, who are affiliated with Cleveland. There is no fee for the mitzvah service. Learn more or register at www.CLEyentas.com.