Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 2 Gevurah

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 2 Gevurah

This is a part of Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow’s Omer Mixtape 5784/2024 Project

The second week of the Omer focuses on the sefira, the Divine element, of Gevurah

Gevurah represents strength, justice, and discipline. This also includes restraint, in the sense of having strength to restrain when necessary. The focus this week is to practice discipline with our time and energy, to be judicious with ourselves and our relationships. 

This judicious restraint and self-discipline looks different for everyone, but the general goals are universal. In determining and honoring healthy boundaries, we preserve energy for positive growth and create space for connection. Gevurah also encapsulates genuine constructive criticism; when we are in control of our own journey, we must also take responsibility for our growing edges. 

The music on this playlist aims to encapsulate the wide-ranging aspects of this sefira. It’s fascinating to find songs across genres that speak to the same theme with a completely different approach.

*Please note, my playlists include explicit content; any explicit content is labeled with a capital E on Spotify. 

Some songs are included because their title reflects Gevurah, even if the song’s content doesn’t necessarily. The best example of this is “Habit” by Louis Tomlinson, which is about a habit, technically, but not necessarily forming healthy ones.

Criticism + Motivation: Of the Self and Others

The Jewish concept and practice of Teshuva is considered to be a healthy process of constructive criticism and growth. By understanding criticism as teshuva, that makes it a process of reflection and introspection followed by communication, growth, and change. When we receive criticism, we can use it as motivation for that growth and change.

I enjoy using music as a part of this process, in a variety of ways. Some songs inspire introspection, and we can find our own self-criticism reflected in the lyrics. Taylor Swift has written some of the most relatable self-criticism anthems like “Anti-Hero,” and “this is me trying.” There are a number of songs on this playlist, like “Tryin’” by GROUPLOVE (my favorite band), that speak to this idea. 

Gevurah and self-criticism are about continuing to try, to find your way, to improve into the best version of yourself. 

Once we’ve deeply self-reflected, music can also pick us up and motivate us toward that improvement and growth. Songs like “The Hard Way” by Joy Oladokun and “what doesn’t kill me” by Kacey Musgraves speak to not being overcome by obstacles, but using the obstacles to grow stronger and better.

Boundaries + Relationships

It can be incredibly difficult to set up boundaries in our important and close relationships. Having those boundaries, however, helps maintain those relationships and keeps them strong. Thankfully, this playlist contains a number of songs that illustrate this. 

Whereas Taylor Swift is the pop queen of defining her own flaws, Ariana Grande is the pop queen of defending boundaries and providing outward criticism. Her songs “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” and “yes, and?” are about challenging those you’re in a relationship with to respect your boundaries and do their own self-reflection. 

MUNA, the greatest band in the world (objectively, of course), is featured heavily on this playlist because they are a trio of people who understand what happens when you don’t create boundaries. On their second album, their songs “Hands Off” and “Stayaway” illustrate establishing healthy boundaries and exercising restraint after realizing the damage done without it. On their self-titled self-produced (incredible) third album, their songs “Anything But Me” and “Shooting Star” illustrate even further growth and maintenance of healthy boundaries. 

Once boundaries are established, staying disciplined in our restraint is the next crucial step. 

Healthy Restraint + Discipline 

The rabbis of the Talmud understand restraint in a particular way, that I would deem untenable in today’s world. How can we restrain from earthly indulgences, when we only have the one precious life to live? 

Rather than restraint and discipline meaning we restrict indulgence, they can be understood instead as motivational tools for personal growth. 

This playlist contains a number of songs about being a fighter, as well as songs about running, including the aforementioned MUNA. This music motivates us to keep going and stay strong in the process. 

It reminds us that we all have the capacity to channel the fighter within us and work toward maintaining our boundaries and judicious sense of self. 


Of course, the Gevurah playlist also contains a number of songs referencing strength. If you organize the playlist alphabetically as I like to, you can see them all listed together. May we all find the strength to be disciplined and judicious with ourselves, our relationships, and our growth. 

Author

  • Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow

    Rabbi Jenna is passionate about experiential education, building meaningful community, and seeking authenticity from within and without through creative expression and spiritual exploration. Before rabbinical school, Rabbi Jenna received dual Bachelor's degrees in English and Secondary Education and worked as a high school English teacher. She has translated her love of literature into a deep appreciation for analysis and exploration of Jewish text, always seeking to connect the Jewish tradition with relevant contemporary life, values, and content. In her free time, you can find her updating her playlists, going to concerts, playing with her cat, or exploring nature.

    View all posts https://tiktok.com/jennaratekindness

Author

  • Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow

    Rabbi Jenna is passionate about experiential education, building meaningful community, and seeking authenticity from within and without through creative expression and spiritual exploration. Before rabbinical school, Rabbi Jenna received dual Bachelor's degrees in English and Secondary Education and worked as a high school English teacher. She has translated her love of literature into a deep appreciation for analysis and exploration of Jewish text, always seeking to connect the Jewish tradition with relevant contemporary life, values, and content. In her free time, you can find her updating her playlists, going to concerts, playing with her cat, or exploring nature.

Share This Post

Post categories: , ,

Exploring Judaism Recent Posts

Find meaning in your inbox.

Subscribe to receive our latest content by email.

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Got questions?