Day 17: Tiferet she’b’Tiferet, Beauty within Beauty
They said to him, “We dreamed a dream, but there is no one to interpret it.” Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me!” (Genesis 40:8)
Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s [two] dreams are one. They tell Pharaoh what God is doing.” (Genesis 41: 25)
DREAM (LAST NIGHT)
I am with my husband in our 2nd floor bedroom. Out the window, I see some larger-than-life dragonflies, wings flush against their bodies. An updraft pulls them towards the light blue cloudless sky. Below them, some koi fish, mouths open, are being drawn up too.
“What is happening?! What is happening?!” I ask.
I get up to look out the window and step out onto a balcony. The wind is calm now and I see a wide view, so wide, it’s as if I am seeing all the way around a corner. The sky is very big, a very beautiful light blue, with a luminous white glow near the horizon. Far away, to the left, is a small stand of a few cherry trees, with a hint of new pink blossoms.
“Why haven’t I seen this before?!” I ask. “Why haven’t I seen this before?!”
Two geese fly by, quietly and with purpose.
How do I prepare these posts? Normally, I open my book Shechinah Bring Me Home to the day’s Omer quality. I reflect on what I wrote there, two full years ago. Does it still speak to me? What are the key ideas? How might I explore them more deeply? Next, I turn my answers into questions! Then, a text pops into my mind. Finally, I edit it all together, making sure it’s coherent.
But this morning, my process was different. I dreamed of beauty, I woke in awe. And then, I remembered: tonight begins Tiferet she’b’Tiferet, the beauty within beauty. And haven’t I dreamed of beauty on this day before? So, I opened my book—and there I found another awesome dream. About the “peacock condor” who hovers over a mountain trail.
Two events—two dreams—meaningfully connected. But not by a physical causality. And that’s what we call “synchronicity.” Things that just seem to happen at the same time. Because they are connected in a world we can’t so easily track. A spiritual, emotional, or intellectual world.
Two similar dreams—well, that catches your attention. So does a dream of unearthly beauty. Or a numinous dream, tinged with a sense of the divine. So, yes, today’s dream caught my attention. And then Joseph’s teaching showed up to help me. You have seen this before, he says. The two dreams are one. Flying by, with a purpose. To tell me, maybe, that something is happening in my spiritual life. Something I cannot possibly know yet how to interpret. Because—like the dream’s otherworldly beauty opening to an impossible breadth of vision—it’s new and it’s big.
IDEAS. In what ways do you see dreams as meaningful? What do you think your psyche is doing when it arranges mental images in dreams?
PRACTICES. When you feel something inside you changing, do you pay attention to your dreams? If so, what practices do you use to ask for dreams, remember them, learn from them? If you don’t dream, what spiritual practices do you use to help you in times of great change?
FEELINGS. Have you had a numinous dream? What did it feel like? During the dream? Afterwards?
GOD. Does God appear in your dreams? If so, how? As a feeling? A presence? A character? A voice? A symbolic image?
About the Questions
These questions take off from the text above. And they also go deeper into the day’s reflections in the book Shechinah, Bring Me Home: Kabbalah and the Omer in Real Life.
There are many ways to explore these questions. You can: Tell a story from your own life. Give an example from a book or a movie. Write a poem. Analyze a concept. Offer a definition. Draw a picture. Sing a song.
New to the Omer? Here’s a guide to the theory and practice.