The Container Within

This week of the counting of the Omer focuses on the energy of Gevurah—setting limits and establishing firm boundaries. There are a myriad of concepts contained in Gevurah—including that it itself is a container. Today, the 9th day of the count is Gevurah in Gevurah. So what is a container within a container? The image in Kabbalah is symbolized by the 9th letter—the letter Tet.

If you look at the negative (white) space within the letter you see the shape of a fetus—the developing baby, itself a container for the person-soul contained within the womb (which emerges in the 9th month).


In one of our ongoing study groups (we have been learning together for 7 years) this observation was shared: Our meeting each week is a container for me—you are all a container for me to express what I need to learn about—and in turn I contain all of you—I hold you all week with(in) me. This is one way to understand Gevurah in Gevurah—we are containers for each other.


I received an emergency call yesterday from a person who said: I just needed to tell someone. She was in pain, in part due to her own decision. After listening for a bit I felt that she was not only calling me so I could hold her grief—I felt she wanted me to challenge her to consider what she had decided—and so I did. I offered that she could create a larger container. Late last night she texted me to say she was relieved—she set a limit on the limit she had set—and by so doing enlarged her container. This is an alternate (paradoxical) way to understand Gevurah in Gevurah.


For those who are using the Omer count as a container-structure for spiritual work this is the week (and in particular the day) to focus on what you want to change (particularly regarding that which you have procrastinated about) during these seven weeks. Coming off the week of Passover one needs to be realistic—what is doable for you now to work on.


Gevurah energy is red—symbolized by blood and fire, both of which we need to contain. When we edit a document it is called a redline version—we are tightening up our expansiveness. Can we convey the same idea in a smaller container? Being realistic is a smaller container.


How large can your container be? Smart growth depends on the container within the container. Taking on too much (water, responsibility) overwhelms the container. Integrity is taking care of the container inside—as the container outside is enlarged.


Next week you have an opportunity to help us enlarge our Kabbalah Experience container—please come and join us for Dreaming Out Loud—it is our first fundraiser—and partner with us in building the container for growth. We remain committed to the principle of maintaining the container we have created together. Contained growth is our dream.


1 Comment

W. Dinner · April 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

David — just had to tell you how much this particular KE missive resonated with me. I think of myself more as a “Chesed” person rather than one of “Gevurah,” so wasn’t looking for anything particular today when I opened this email. However, there is a particular issue I’ve been struggling with for almost 3 years. I’ve devoted much thought to trying to figure out what it was I was supposed to learn from a life-changing experience that happened to me. Your blog here nailed it. I get it now. I don’t necessarily like it, but I get it. Have to chew on it a bit now. Thank you, Thank you!!!

P.S. My dosha happens to be Pitta (fire), and I happen to be really into the color red for the last few years — after it never having appealed to me. As a lawyer, of course I redline documents CONSTANTLY. And limit-setting for myself and others are things I’ve so needed to work on. Something definitely afoot here… Again, thank you.


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