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Omer Week 3 - Tiferet


by Adam Millson

Week 3 of the Omer (May 4th-May 10th): Tiferet

“But remember the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a great struggle with sufferings. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to abuses and afflictions, and other times you became partners with those who were treated this way. For you suffered along with the prisoners and joyfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you have for yourselves a better and lasting possession.” -- Heb 10:32-34

In its plainest sense, tiferet is beauty, but beauty can be expressed in many ways. Beauty often comes through symmetry and harmony, both in nature and in artificial works. In relationships, harmony is most purely expressed through compassion where one person mirrors another’s suffering in order to support them through it.

As we all know, there is much suffering in the world. Sometimes this is due to a need for gevurah, but sometimes tragedies occur or people do evil deeds. When these sad times occur, it is good to demonstrate deep compassion. There is nothing wrong with “thoughts and prayers”, despite what some say, but it is essential that you are actually thinking and praying. Ten seconds of consideration is not deep compassion. Tiferet is better even expressed in actions that bring you alongside someone who is suffering – things like bringing a hot meal to someone under a lot of stress or offering an interest-free loan to someone who is having a hard time. Tiferet does not mean that you swoop in and solve the other’s problems for them; that can be demeaning and undermines their growth. Instead, you offer them a metaphorical hand up and allow them to recover themselves with your measured assistance.

This week, look for opportunities to help someone by coming alongside them. You might help someone fix their fence or their car or volunteer to babysit for a couple so they can go out on their first date night in months. For even more harmony, see if you can express tiferet by serving someone with your accountability partner.


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