Tonight begins the 29th Day of the Omer (May 11-12, 2006), which is four weeks and one day of the omer. May that part of me that is broken in Hesed in Hod begin to heal on this day.
The above Torah text is used, in part, in the holiday liturgy. The version in the holiday liturgy, however, stops before getting to the part about how bad behavior is destined to travel through the generations. It can come as quite a shock during the yearly Torah reading cycle to be reminded that God is not all love. And it seems that it defies the basic principles of fairness that children should suffer for their parents' bad behaviors.
But Rashi always comforts me with his simple mathematical approach. "Okay, so we're stuck with some of the stuff of our parents and recent ancestors. But keep things in perspective: our inheritance of committed love beats our inheretance of bad traits by 500 to 1!
Love in the echo. Love in the splendor. The echo may be that which is not changeable in us. This echo is at times a source of frustration. It is, however, also part of what makes us unique. Change and growth are not so much about destroying troublesome echoes, but rather "playing" with them in new ways that bring joy and self-understanding. And when we are irritated by our old habits, Hesed in Hod teaches us to have compassion for ourselves and others.
On this day of Hesed in Hod it is time to witness the beauty and the grandeur of our core being, knowing that the stuff we carry from recent generations pales in comparison to the love and the divine spark that has been flowing for thousands of years.