So I was wrong, and that’s how Judaism manages to be a living, dynamic faith. In a recent previous post I wrote that I wouldn’t be observing the traditional prohibition on cutting one’s hair during the Omer. (See Omer Is My Siddur? Alone on a Shelf.)
So okay, I trimmed my beard–one time, for work purposes, which is technically a kosher thing to do. The mop on my head that looks like there’s a large, hairy jungle attacking a Liliputian-sized kippah is another story altogether. I kept telling Ryan I needed a haircut. I intended to get it done. Even after Ryan trimmed his own headly hirsuteness, I still didn’t get with the program.
Honestly, it was laziness and inertia at first. But as the Omer–and my counting of it–continued, I admit I felt a growing tinge of sadness at the idea of not observing the prohibition. Like I’ve said before, the practices of our avot v’imahot (“fathers and mothers”–our Jewish ancestors, basically) sometimes just get me right here. Right here in this instance being the Jew ‘fro waving in the wind, my kippah holding on for dear life, as I write this post on a breezy 20th-floor balcony.
I’ll get a haircut today. At least that’s the plan. Otherwise I’ll wait until the end of the Omer. And by then, I’ll probably look like a Jewish Cousin It.
One thing that did go as expected, my perfect imperfection in using the counting of the Omer as a way to bring myself back to a more regular prayer practice. No, I haven’t davenned three times a day every day. Yes, often I’ve had to count the Omer in the morning instead of the evening. But I have used the rope of the Omer to pull myself closer to my goal, if the increasingly worn corners of my travel-size siddur are any indication.
Tomorrow that will hopefully continue to happen on my first good hair day in weeks. Baruch k’vod Adonai mim’komo. Blessed is the Glory of God in God’s place.
And the ‘do in its place, too.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.