Sunday, April 16, 2017

Counting The Omer, Looking Forward to The Next Holiday

Reminder for Counting the Omer when phone and computer are off. I've been leaving a "sign" right over the television, a place my eyes wander for the past few years. I find this to be the best way of remembering to count.
The Counting of the Omer, Sefirat Ha'Omer, is a pretty long process. It's 7 X 7 = 49, seven complete weeks long. And the numbers go up and up each night.

The Counting of the Omer begins on the second night of Passover and it ends just before the Shavuot Holiday. In Hebrew it is much more interesting, because seven, week, satiated and Shavuot, which means "weeks" or "oaths," are all written from the same root:


There's nothing like Hebrew as a brilliant language with so much meaning however you combine letters. There's no real "gibberish" in Hebrew. Every simple two or three letter combination can be linguistically interpreted somehow.

As we begin counting on that second night of Passover, we know that in forty-nine days, seven times seven weeks, we will all swear our allegiance to Gd, accept the Torah and be satisfied with it, Gd willing.

It's an amazing concept, and it repeats every year. Yes, it's connected to the commandment that we each must feel ourselves as having left Egypt and joined with Gd and Gd's Commandments to us. We first search for and destroy the chametz, forbidden leaved products, and then we start anew with matzot, מצות, which are linguistically, mitzvot מצות Gd's commandments. This is either confusing or comforting and satisfying in how it connects the Holy Days.

Passover celebrates our no longer being slaves of Pharaoh, and Shavuot celebrates Gd's giving us the Torah and our emergence as a People.

Even though the 49 days of the Omer is supposed to be a time of national mourning, there are, davka, two modern holidays in the middle, Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day. These are the modern Holy Days that parallel the development of the Jewish People today. We've reclaimed the Holy Land as Ours! We are now a State/Nation after two thousand years of exile. And these significant days are during the forty-nine of the Omer. Gd controls timing, which is a reminder of how holy Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day truly are.

Chag Sameach!!

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