Yesod/Foundation Intention: Omer Week 6

This spiritual reflection and intention is a part of Counting the Omer. You can find more information on this mitzvah and how to observe it there here.

What is Yesod?

The sixth quality (middah)  is Yesod, which is the quality of foundation or bonding. While all the prior middot are both internal and external, Yesod is grounded in connection to an other.  All our potential is made manifest in the context of an other–be it loved ones, community, or God.

Other translations of Yesod are: 

  1. Bonding
  2. Rootedness
  3. Tzadik

So what? How does it relate to me?

With others:

Yesod is bonding which requires an other. Our qualities are refined through the crucible of responsibility which arises out of relationship and out of community.

If you think back on those brilliant conversations, where the ideas and topics just flow, then you sense the power of bonding. The most precious human emotions are born out of Yesod.

With ourself:

Yesod, by its nature, is the most dialogic of the 7 middot, and hence, the most difficult to tap into when looking within ourselves. However, the maturity of our emotional life is completely dependent upon our bonding with others. Entire fields of psychology are based on the study of child/mother bonding; while others focus on family bonding. Our maturity at any age, our willingness to bear more responsibility, our grit, and our love all flow naturally from Yesod.

With God:

Yesod is the emotional center of the human being. As such, Yesod informs us of our significance, our value as we are a walking, talking “image of God.” All of the other qualities are contained, refined, and reinvigorated through Yesod–our bonding with others, with ourselves, and with the Source of all life.

Yesod practice for the week:

  1. Who are some of your most intimate relationships?
  2. Describe the feelings when you have opportunities to spend time together and really connect.
  3. With whom do you need to reconnect?

Author

  • Rabbi Meir Goldstein is blessed to be the Senior Jewish Educator at the Oregon Hillel Foundation and Judaic Studies lecturer at the University of Oregon. He elevates human dignity by building a community of learners. Rabbi Goldstein attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University, earning an MA in Rabbinic Studies in 2003 and Rabbinic Ordination in 2006. When not at work, he is happiest on a hiking trail, playing guitar, or studying. Rabbi Goldstein lives in the holy city of Eugene, Oregon, with his wife, Laura, and their loving (yet bossy) shih tzu, Koofi.

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