Halfway Between Green and Yellow

There’s a place, halfway between green and yellow. It’s the place where the seasons turn, the winds meet and the ancient sands rise into dunes.

There’s a place, halfway between now and tomorrow. It’s the place where the road shifts, where time slows and choices open into every possibility, every future.

There’s a place, halfway between Egypt and Sinai. It’s the place where the echoes of slavery fade, the music of freedom begins its song and the thunder of G-d’s voice can almost be heard.

Last night, we began – once again – to live inside a metaphor. We imagined ourselves leaving Egypt in haste toward an unknown promised land, toward a covenant that had not yet been revealed. Like our ancestors, we became living poetry, believing in something that we could only know once we arrived, believing in something that could not be fully understood with words.

And for the next 49 days, we will count the physical time and the spiritual space from redemption to Torah. We count the days. And we count the weeks. Think of it as an invitation to stay inside the metaphor, to stay connected to the journey. For some, that means using the sefirot, the mystical aspects of the divine personality, as a guide to emulating G-d, perfecting the self and bringing holiness into the world.

Funny thing about this kind of counting: the middle can be hardest. It’s easy to get lost, easy to fall out of the metaphor, easy to forget that the place between green and yellow cannot really be described. The shifts are subtle. We must pay attention.

Another thing: doing it alone is nearly impossible. Share your journey with others. Share what you read, what you write, what you think as you count these days. We leave Egypt together; we arrive at Sinai together.

There’s a place you haven’t been. It’s a place halfway between the person you are now and the person you’re about to become. It’s a place where all possibilities open. It’s somewhere between colors and hues, somewhere between the seen and the unseen.

Yes, there’s a place, somewhere between your breath and your heartbeat, a place where truth meets love, a place in which we are all finally ready to give the answer at Sinai: “Hineni. Here I am. Fully present. Ready. Awake. Listening.”

Like our ancestors leaving Egypt, let’s being the journey.

Here’s an Omer meditation called: “The Season of Counting.”

The Season of Counting

This is the season of counting:
Of counting days and nights,
Of counting the space between slavery of the body
And freedom of the soul.

This is a season of seeing:
Of seeing earth and sky,
Of seeing renewal in the land
And renewal in our hearts.

This is a season of journey:
Of inner journeys and outer journeys
Taking us places that need us,
Places that we need.

This is the season of counting,
The season of joyous anticipation,
Of wondrous waiting, in devotion and awe,
For our most precious gift,
The gift that binds our hearts to each other across the millennia,
The gift that binds our souls to G-d’s Holy Word.

The Season of Counting” is © 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings.

About the Author
Alden Solovy is the Liturgist-in-Residence at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. A liturgist, poet, and educator, his teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout North America. He's the author of “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day” and has written more than 750 pieces of new liturgy. His new book, "This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings," was published in 2019. He made aliyah in 2012. Read his work at www.ToBendLight.com.
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