Check it out: Tiferet is in the MIDDLE, connecting all of the sefirot together in some way.
This particular week has been not so fabulous for my ability to keep things in balance, certainly, but it has been one of compassion, one of connection, cone of community. It's been told when you miss a day/night of the omer without counting, that you can count the day, but without the blessing. For me, at least, I may continue counting the omer with a blog post (or a million of them).
Today's post, concentrating on the ultimate Tiferet B'Tiferet (Tiferet squared?), we concentrate on all of the things that Tiferet can be: harmony, compassion, connection, beauty, balance, equilibrium. As I'm catching up on my own blog posts (hey, never said this wouldn't be a SELF-challenge!), I think about those in my life who are the art of grace in their own connections and abilities to embrace the beauty, harmony, and compassion both inwardly and outwardly. So for this particular post, I think to one of my own beautiful inspirations: Danielle N.
Danielle, always the life of the [Purim] party!
I am VERY lucky to have Danielle in my life. It is rare that you see someone with incredibly beautiful gifts and a large depth of compassion and Danielle has an abundance of both. At multiple conferences (and through the gift of Facebook videos), I have had the pleasure of enjoying Danielle's singing voice MANY many times and she has a gift of actual musical harmony while creating a harmonious community all around her (or around her campfire!). At conferences, you can often find Danielle chatting up friends and strangers (or friends-to-be) at every opportunity and she has an amazing knack for finding the beauty in almost every situation: not sure where exactly the next scheduled place is? Great time to meet someone new and ask. Have a 15 minute break in between sessions and not enough time to nap? Awesome time to sit outside, enjoy the trees, and have an excellent conversation.
I was lucky enough to be randomly roomed with Danielle at a WHO conference within the first three weeks at starting work at Oregon Hillel. Besides being granted the ability to visit Starbucks every morning with her, I also got to enjoy a rare introduction to what it is to really be a Hillel team player, West Coast performer, and how to connect with the other professionals around me. Here's a fun photo from that fabulous time:
I'm on the floor, Danielle and [beardless!] Andy dancing? Moving? Who knows!
Since then, much of my Hillel professional experience has been shared with Danielle. Chatting at lunches at professional conferences (she is also a member of the Lunch Table Challenge), debating the benefits of pre-school freshmen Shabbatons, and this year sharing in not one, but TWO simultaneous fellowships (shout out to E2E/Ezra and Taglit Fellows!). I feel lucky to be friends with someone who is so quick to find the beauty in every situation, who shares compassion with all those around her, and when all else fails, can literally create harmony as needed (as long as she has someone to provide the melody alongside her). On a personal note to her: thank you Danielle for connecting me to the Hillel family on a personal level, and for always finding a fine balance between fun and function at every event we share.