Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 3 Tiferet

OMer Mixtape 2024: Week 3 Tiferet

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

The third week of the Omer focuses on Tiferet, the Divine element of truth, balance, harmony, and compassion. 

Each of the sefirot is also connected to a part of the body, and Tiferet fittingly is the center, our core. Compassion in Hebrew is רחמים (rakhamim), which comes from the same root as womb. 

To have compassion, we pull from our innate internal instincts and find balance in our core. To find harmony and maintain balance, we establish truth in ourselves, our relationships, and our experiences. 

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

Beauty, Truth, and Love (not just the tagline for Moulin Rouge)

Beauty is both objective and subjective. This is evidential throughout Jewish literature, considering the wide variety of people, experiences, and places described as beautiful. 

Truth is represented on this playlist by many songs about trusting others when in a relationship with them. On their song “True Blue,” boygenius sings about the beauty and truth of their relationships as bandmates and friends. 

Being truthful with ourselves, friends and loved ones opens us up to find the beauty that surrounds us.

Alphabetically, this playlist kicks off with two songs about finding true beauty. “All Things End” by Hozier is about appreciating the beauty of the world around us while we can, and “All This Time” by Louis Tomlinson is about facing the truth, so we can appreciate the beauty in our lives. “Cardinal” by Kacey Musgraves is about noticing simple beauty and realizing the deeper truths behind it. 

I consider friendship a thing of beauty, especially when we achieve harmonious balance in our meaningful relationships. Included, then, are songs about friends, by Joy Oladokun and The Beatles, plus the Friends theme song!

Balance + Harmony

First, we must maintain balance within ourselves. R. Nachman of Breslov teaches a powerful way to seek and maintain balance in his writings, Likutei Mohoran. He explains that we should carry two pieces of paper; one that reminds us “we are but dust” and one that reminds us “the world was created for us.” 

Music can be the thing we carry with us to remind us of this. This teaching always reminds me of Alanis Morisette’s “Hand in My Pocket,” which is rightfully included on the playlist. 

Other songs that are clearly about balance and harmony are titled with two things paired together, complementing each other. A few examples are “Body and Mind” by girl in red, “Happy & Sad” by Kacey Musgraves, and “Call and Answer” by Barenaked Ladies. Another collection of music on the Tiferet playlist is songs about circles, because a true circle connects continuously in balance and harmony.  

Once we feel balanced within, we can find balance and harmony within our relationships. 

Noah Kahan explores this balance with “Your Needs, My Needs,” as does Kacey Musgraves with “Giver / Taker.” They both sing about how to find a better balance after learning from less harmonious relationships. 

When we find balance within ourselves and with others, we achieve harmony. Harmony, definitively, references music and the playing of chords, or multiple notes at once, to produce a pleasing effect. There is plenty of truly musical harmony on this playlist, as well as songs that seek it on a metaphorical level simultaneously. 

Lorde plays with this on “Mood Ring,” singing about using various ways to seek truth from the universe that have debated accuracy. Harry Styles longs for balance on “Fine Line,” with an orchestral cascade of horns and the mantra “we’ll be alright” during the bridge.

Compassion for Ourselves and Others

When we seek truth and discover beauty, we must remember to do so with compassion. As mentioned before, this means turning inward to balance on our sense of caring, on our ability to sympathize and empathize. 

Perhaps the most obvious song in this category is “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. A classic sung around many Jewish camp and youth group bonfires, this song is about finding the balance in give and take with our friends, remembering to lean on others and be gentle with ourselves. 

One of my favorite lesser known artists, Ashe, sings about this concept as well on “Count On Me.” Regina Spektor also sings about compassion on “Better,” and Beyoncé belts out her nurturing instincts on “I Care.” 

Another artist celebrated at the Jewish camp I grew up at (shoutout to Habonim Dror Camp Moshava), Dar Williams, illustrates a beautifully balanced harmony in family relationships with “The Christians and the Pagans.” As she sings, “magic is in the learning.” When we compassionately seek truth, we discover beauty.

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.

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