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Omer Week 5 - Hod

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by Adam Millson

Week 5 of the Omer (May 19th-May 26th): Hod

“But somewhere someone has testified, saying,
'What is man, that You are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that You care for him?
For a little while, You made him
lower than the angels.
You crowned him with glory and honor.
You put all things in subjection
underneath his feet.'
For when He put all things in subjection to him, He left nothing outside his control. But for now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we see One who was made for a little while lower than the angels—namely, Yeshua. He is now crowned with glory and honor, because of the death He suffered so that, by the grace of God, He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for God—for whom and through whom all things exist—in leading many sons to glory, to perfect through sufferings the initiator of their salvation.” -- Heb 2:6-10

Hod means splendor, but it is also the root of yodeh and modeh, which are related to thankfulness. Consequently, hod is understood to refer to the splendor of gratefulness and humility. It not splendor that derives from ostentatious wealth or arrogant deeds, but the gentle splendor that results from humility.

As in many things, if not all things, our greatest example in life of hod is Yeshua. In order to do his greatest acts of sacrifice, he was humbled from transcendent G-dhead to a human baby. He was humbled so that he could come to serve, not to be served; he did not come to be a dominant king, but a kingly servant to all. By suffering that it would be impossible to directly experience as G-d, he ensured that we understand that we have a G-d and high priest that can sympathize with everything we go through.

This week, there are two practices we can use to improve our understanding of hod. The first is to say the Modeh Ani when you wake up. The Modeh Ani is a very brief prayer of gratefulness traditionally used to remind us of the need for gratitude at the beginning of the day. If you aren’t comfortable with reciting the Modeh Ani every morning, you can offer a spontaneous prayer of thanks for the new day when you wake up. The second practice is to seek an act of humble service. Life is messy and consequently service is often messy; washing someone’s stinky feet isn’t really dignified, but it does show a deep level of care. We need to keep in mind that what seems humiliating to us can be essential to uplifting our divine soul and reaching higher levels of holiness; even better, what seems humiliating is often good for uplifting others. Is there an act of service you can do that you aren’t because you find it embarrassing, demeaning, or beneath you? It could range from picking up litter when you see it in the street to apologizing to or forgiving an estranged friend or family member. If so, make a concrete commitment to doing this act. Write it down or share it with your partner, and then actually serve in the way you have decided to do. 

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