Hirhurim Mei Ha-Lev Shel Savta – Savoring

Hirhurim Mei Ha-Lev Shel Savta – Savoring

Monday May 6, 2024.  28 Nisan 5784.

Today I received a blessing from my spiritual director…the suggestion just to savor my breath.  To sit and breathe and not worry about intentions, prayer words, mantras.  Just savoring aliveness. 

I have been stressing for a while now about not praying daily, no longer losing myself in the words of the siddur (Hebrew prayer book), not meditating as I have in the past – not being disciplined enough.  Searching for my mantra, the right practice, the key that would unlock/unblock. 

Of course, I immediately tried to find the parallel Hebrew word.  To savor.  To taste – לטעום.  To take pleasure – להתענג.  To enjoy –  להנות.  Awareness of the goodness /gratitude – הכרת הטוב.  All of these ways together is an experience of savoring, and, I realized, a true experience of the sefira of hod.

I looked up עונג oneg just to be sure I got it right.  And, Jastrow led me to a shade of understanding of לְעַנֵּג that I never knew.  Yes, pleasure, bliss, enjoyment, a taste of the World that is Coming.  But also softening (as of the skin or hair with ointment or bathing) and feeling comfort (see Isaiah 47:1 or Deuteronomy 28:56; Jastrow 1091-92).

This also brought me new vista of understanding the sefira of hod – to savor and just be with that.  To soften into the pleasure and bliss and goodness and enjoyment and sensory delight of just being alive, of just breathing.