Counting the Omer - Day 10

We’re in the second week of the 49-day Counting of the Omer. As I shared earlier, Aish HaTorah, an excellent Orthodox Jewish organization, has organized this counting around 7 important character traits that are part of all humanity. In preparation for Shavuot, when we received the Torah as a united nation, many people use the Counting of the Omer to improve their character traits and their sense of unity as a People of God.

I am interacting with some of Aish’s ideas, adding some comments from ha-B’rit Hadashah (the New Covenant) and offering some personal thoughts. 

The first week focused on chesed, loving-kindness, and provided 7 easy ways to develop this character trait. The second week of the Counting looks at gevurah, discipline, and offers some easy-to-take steps to develop this character trait a bit better.
From Aish ha Torah
Tiferet of Gevurah: Compassion in Discipline

Underlying and driving discipline must not only be love, but also compassion. Compassion is unconditional love. It is love just for the sake of love, not considering the others position. Tiferet is a result of total selflessness in the eyes of God. You love for no reason; you love because you are a reflection of God. Does my discipline have this element of compassion?

1 Yochanan (John) 4:19-20 We ourselves love now because he loved us first. 
 
My thoughts: Lately, I’ve heard an expression that goes something like this—”If a person is treated badly when he or she is young, that person has a tendency to treat others badly when grown.” And the opposite is true, as well. “If a person grows up being loved, it’s easier as an adult to show love.” People tend to reflect and repeat their childhood experiences. 
A lot of personal growth comes when one understands the circumstances of youth and commits to acting better as an adult. Yochanan (John) wants his hearers to know that there is hope. We can love because we’ve experienced God’s love, no matter what our lives were like. During this season, this is great time to develop this character trait.
 

Exercise for the day: Be compassionate to someone you have reproached, rejected, or rebuffed. That shows unconditional love, just as God demonstrated through Yeshua’s sacrifice.