Loving Kindness in Loving Kindness
CHESED sh b'CHESED
The Light of Lovingkindness illuminates my way.
Attending 2nd day Pesach Seder with an older cousin at her new kosher senior residence so that my cousin should know someone and not feel alone, a stranger sat down next to me at the table on my other side. At Seder I had hoped to sit with someone I knew on my other side but my cousin had other plans. The elder stranger was brought in, assisted by an aide but the aide was not able to remain at this senior residence Seder. It didn't take me long to realize that the now unassisted woman (whom I'll call Sarah), due to her severe arthritis was not able to turn Haggadah pages, nor cut her Seder meat meal, or make her voice easily heard, or do other things for herself that are easy for me to do. I realized Sarah's difficult predicament and with her permission, I became her hands, turning Haggadah pages and cutting steak, and was her voice for the waiter.
I don't even want to see rare red meat, but this was my Chesed to Sarah, whom I had not previously known. I hoped she was not uncomfortable with a stranger assisting her. I was grateful that for the counting of the Sephirat HaOmer, Day 1, I was able to give a stranger, someone I don't know-- Loving Kindness in Loving Kindness. This was a revealed blesSing for me when I wasn't allowed to sit next to the other person I also knew. For my cousins and the other people at the table I had not known, I shared what the Sephirotic ritual, Counting the Omer, is all about because the Seder leader did not share the meaning of the ritual begun each year on Pesach second day. I've been blessed with fine teachers, and mandated by my rabbis to share what I know. I also share my heart.
May the refinement work of cosmic cleansing that I do on myself during the 49 days of Kabbalistically Counting the Sephirat HaOmer help me to mamash/truly be who I am, and need to become. I need to delete klipot/husks (negative influences) and again ready myself for Shavuot by strengthening, elevating and perfecting my midot/character traits.