Omer Mixtape: Chesed Week 1

blurry image of a concert with Red lights with the words: Omer Mixtape Chesed Week 1

This is a part of Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow’s Omer Mixtape 2022 Project.

Day 1: Chesed within Chesed: (self love)
Soulmate by Lizzo


The first day of the Omer is all about lovingkindness, and our personal relationship with being and loving and kind toward ourselves. We all have different ways that we express love, to ourselves and to others, and today is about exploring the best ways to show love for yourself. Lizzo is all about self-love, so she was an obvious choice as an artist for this day, and her song Soulmate is the perfect match. This song is about being your own soulmate; you have to take care of yourself and treat yourself from a place of pure, true love.

Day 2: Gevurah within Chesed: (disciplined loving; self preservation)
good wife by Kacey Musgraves

Today is about exercising discipline and strength with your love. If you give too much, you can end up burnt out on sharing love, and you could get taken advantage of. This day is about discipling that giving of love, so that you don’t get taken advantage, and your loving relationships don’t cross unhealthy boundaries. This song by Kacey Musgraves is about being a good partner in a relationship, but it is also a bit facetious because the whole album is actually about her divorce. She sings about knowing what your partner needs and providing unbridled support, that eventually pushes her relationship to the breaking point. If you don’t have boundaries and discipline in your loving relationships, they will break.

Day 3: Tiferet within Chesed: (balanced, compassionate love – balance b/w giving + preserving)
Ways to Go by Grouplove + Til Forever Falls Apart by Ashe

This day is about balancing between the outpouring of love from the first day and the healthy boundaries of the second day. It is about compassion within loving kindness, which means we have to move between sharing love and preserving it. There are two song pairings for today, because they both felt like they fit perfectly. The first, Ways to Go by Grouplove, is about a loving relationship that takes work to keep going. It’s about being guided and inspired by your love while also not letting it keep you from growing. It definitely can be interpreted a number of ways. The second song, Til Forever Falls Apart by Ashe is actually a duet between her and Finneas. They are friends in real life, which is so fun! She wrote this song about friends being there for each other through all of life’s trials and tribulations. It’s about the balance of leaning on others and holding them up when they need it.

Day 4: Netzach within Chesed: (ambitious and enduring love)
Somebody Loves You by The Snuts

Today is about love that is strengthened from a solid foundation and endurance over time. Relationships function best when they have direction, goals, and ambition; they require nurturing, care and attentiveness consistently over time. This song is simply about loving and caring for others and making that love known. The Snuts are singing that somebody loves you, and that someone is them; they are declaring their love and its power to help others get through their problems. It’s a good model for how to consistently express your love for others, and the benefits of having enduring loving relationships.

Day 5: Hod within Chesed: (humble love – vulnerability)
Defenceless by Louis Tomlinson

This day is about channeling humility within your loving relationships. You have to be vulnerable and express your insecurities in order to keep your relationships strong, and to maintain safety and support within loving relationships. This song, Defenceless, is probably one of the best fitting pairings of the entire Omer mixtape, because Louis Tomlinson is singing exactly about letting down your defenses and being vulnerable. The name of the song is misspelled because it’s play on words; he sings about putting up and taking down fences. The bridge perfectly encapsulates humble, vulnerable love, so go give it a listen!

Day 6: Yesod within Chesed: (bonding + building on loving foundation)
For My Friends by King Princess

Today is about building on an established foundation of love. An established foundation of love means that you have a history of shared experiences and established connections, and today is about continuing the bonding experience and adding more experiences to that foundation. With only the past experiences, love doesn’t grow, and without them, it doesn’t have legs to stand. This song is a love letter from King Princess to her oldest friends, the ones she had before she became a (somewhat) famous musician. She reminisces about old memories as well as the continued bond her friends share. Quite honestly, this song could fit for day 5 as well, because sharing vulnerability is an excellent way to build bonds, and King Princess is incredibly open about herself in this song.

Day 7: Malkhut within Chesed: (love generates love – elevating, highlighting, leading thru love) Blood Brothers by Ingrid Michaelson

Today is the culmination of the week of lovingkindness, and it’s about using your love to elevate others. It’s about leading with love, meaning that you lead by example as well as use love to guide yourself. Love should generate more love, and leading with love helps it spread to others. This song, Blood Brothers, is about how each one of us connected; the whole world is related to each other, simply because we exist. She sings about how we should help each other because we are all the same; we should lead with love and use it to continue to connect to others, to connect to as many people as possible.

Author

  • Rabbi Jenna is passionate about experiential education, building meaningful community, and seeking authenticity from within and without through creative expression and Jewish spiritual exploration. Originally from the east coast, she was born in Massachusetts, raised mostly in Maryland. Rabbi Jenna was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. Prior to rabbinical school, Rabbi Jenna received dual Bachelor's degrees in English and Secondary Education from the University of Maryland, and worked as a high school English teacher. She has translated her love of teaching English literature into a deep appreciation for analysis and exploration of Jewish text, always seeking to connect the Jewish tradition with relevant contemporary life. Rabbi Jenna is a lifelong attendee of Jewish summer camps, particularly in the Habonim Dror and Ramah movements. Currently, she is a community rabbi at the Den Collective in the greater Washington area. In her free time, you can find her updating her Spotify playlists, reading a good book, Facetiming with her family, and exploring nature.

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