This is a part of Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow’s Omer Mixtape 2022 Project.
Day 15: Chesed within Tiferet: (compassionate balance – owning your needs)
Mirrors by Niall Horan
This day is about finding balance between knowing what you need and what others need. It is about being kind and loving with yourself in seeking help. The song Mirrors by Niall Horan is about being confronted with your own self-doubts and admitting that you need love. It tells the story of someone who looks into the mirror and doesn’t like what they see, and the chorus is a loud call for someone to love and hold them close. Compassionate balance is about avoiding pity when you need help, or when offering help to others. Just like the song says, it’s okay to admit your self-doubt, and it’s important to re-balance your self-worth by leaning on others.
Day 16: Gevurah within Tiferet: *Rosh Chodesh (disciplined balance)
Now I’m In It by Haim
Today is also Rosh Chodesh, the first of the new Hebrew month of Iyar. The month is known for healing, and healing can come when we are disciplined in seeking balance. The opposite of this pairing, from last week, was when we might seek balance by being disciplined. Now, we must be disciplined in seeking balance, meaning that it is about actively choosing to be balanced, calm and compassionate with ourselves. This song, Now I’m In It, is about those moments when you feel stuck or lost in a brain fog, when your soul isn’t sure where to turn next. It’s about a spiritual writer’s block, so to speak. This song is about the moment when you realize you need to be disciplined with your balance. Sometimes, only when we take a break can we find the strength and inspiration to continue, so it’s ok to sit “in it” for a moment.
Day 17: Tiferet within Tiferet: (balance of loving-kindness + discipline, of the good + evil inclinations)
my future by Billie Eilish
Today is about finding the balance between being compassionate with yourself and staying disciplined. We all have dichotomous inclinations, the evil and the good; the yetzer ha’rah and yetzer ha’tov, and today is about balancing between those two. We have to be simultaneously indulgent and restrained. This song is about sitting with yourself rather than indulging unnecessarily by getting involved with bad influences. It’s about staying restrained now, so that you can achieve the future you’re hoping for. Billie Eilish is singing about her future as her present; it’s about her balance between having a good time and keeping in mind personal growth.
Day 18: Netzach within Tiferet: (persistent, enduring balance)
Light On by Maggie Rogers
This day is about finding balance that’s long lasting, rather than fleeting. It can be easy to fluctuate between extremes in our life, with only small moments of balance. Without consistency, it can be difficult to ever feel balanced, and living in the extremes can give us emotional, spiritual whiplash and make it hard to continue moving forward. This song, Light On, is actually about a time when Maggie Rogers did not feel that balance, and had to reimagine what persistent balance looked like in order to keep moving. She was overwhelmed by her initial success, but she also knew that consistently creating music and sharing with an audience is what propels her. We all have to find what keeps us consistently balanced.
Day 19: Hod within Tiferet: (humble compassion – being non-presumptuous)
You’ve Got a Friend by Carole King
Today is about admitting when we need help finding balance. We cannot presume to have the answers, nor can we presume that others have the answers. Sometimes, balance is about balancing the unknown and humility with others. This song is about calling on friends when you truly need help, no matter the circumstance. You have to be humble enough to ask for help, and compassionate enough to help when others ask. There’s added meaning to the fact that this song was covered by James Taylor as well, who is one of Carole King’s friends and musical collaborators.
Day 20: Yesod within Tiferet: (goal-oriented compassion, foundational balance)
Our Own House by Misterwives
This day is about beginning with balance and continuing to act compassionately, so that foundational balance stays strong. If you start with a strong, balanced grounding, it will keep you grounded continuously as you grow your relationships. This song is about building a relationship, the metaphysical “house” of love and friendship, with your own blueprints. The house is built using the balance of give and take between the pair in the relationship, and it stays strong because they continue to build in that same way. When things beyond our control get taken away, we can come back to this spiritual foundation.
Day 21: Malkhut/Shekhina within Tiferet: (modeling compassion + confident balance)
Good Luck, Kid by Joseph
Today is the culmination of the week of balance, and it’s about leading with compassion and balance. We must model self-worth and it will spread to others; we can empower others to find balance by living our balance confidently. This song seems, at first, like it’s about embodying that confidence because you are the one in charge of your life. Upon closer listening, it actually seems to be about imposter syndrome. It fits the day because the vulnerability of sharing that in a song shows self-compassion and models the balance between confidence and humility.