Rabbi Yael Levy, RRC ’95, tells The New York Times how a 2003 sabbatical trip to Utah inspired her to take a mindful approach to the counting of the Omer using psalms and traditional Jewish mysticism. She explains how the 49-day practice between Passover and Shavuot can enable us to pensively find beauty and respond to suffering in the world around us.
“It’s so easy to see the beauty of the world when you’re in the canyons of Utah,” says Rabbi Levy. “All is well. The glory is so manifest. The question is how to be with the glory while facing the pain — Baltimore exploding, Nepal devastated. The practice is meant to create enough spaciousness in ourselves to face the pain, to listen to someone else’s pain, without constricting in fear and despair.”