Our final contributor to our Omer counting project is Andy Clibanoff. Many thanks to Andy for digging deep and giving us an insightful and powerful intention to carry us into this last week of counting the Omer together. We look forward to seeing you at our Tikkun Leil Shavuot on Saturday Night starting at 8pm: study, prayer, music and mystics with food to nourish and coffee to keep us going. 

Counting of the Omer 5778

by Andy Clibanoff 

I recently had a revelatory dream about Malchut. In the dream, a hand from an unknown source reached out to me while I was lying down. I remember the index finger of this hand extending out in the shape of a hook. The finger attached to my seat and pulled me to the left, creating an opening. I felt the opening as a rush of fresh water, like a stream released from a dam. As I stood up, I asked what was this opening that was now empowering me to do things. And just as in most dreams, I awoke without recollection of the response. 

When asked to write about Malchut for this the final week of the counting of the Omer, I noticed myself thinking how we are faced with daunting challenges in our lives. What is it like to experience challenge? How do challenges affect our outlook? How does our leadership work with uncertainty? As a professional and organizational coach, I work in service to others to develop their strengths so that they can increase their effectiveness and impact. As is often the case, they are faced with challenging directives which require new skills, processes and structures. These new directions often make it difficult for them to remain encouraged in the face of these challenges. They often believe they are powerless, not knowing where to turn for support. 

In researching the sefirah of Malchut, I learned that this divine aspect of our creative world is conceived in terms such as majesty, humility, and positive communications. Our Kabbalistic tradition refers to Malchut as the symbol of the Bride (Shechinah, the divine maternal presence) who is wed to the Bridegroom of Tiferet, balance. One is required to fulfill the other, yet unions such as this can often be challenging when the divine aspect is not experienced within them—a work-life imbalance. 

Returning to the dream, what learning about leadership is embedded in the narrative of when we are lying down in the face of personal, familial, and professional challenges? To me, it says when we are doing our work in the world, there are times when we are knocked down. In the busy world of our professional work, we may not know where to turn for encouragement. But if we allow our dreams to instruct our condition, we know that the divine presence can reach out with a hand, hook us, and help us open up. This presence stands us up, carries us through the currents of our lives in majestic ways, inspiring us with humility to communicate positive words and deeds. As in the end of the dream, there is no answer, only a question. The response is detached from the asking. It is up to us to seek that response. That is when we awaken to the power of Malchut.