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Counting the Omer, Week 3

04/24/2020 10:27:45 AM


Beth Schafer & The Spirituality Committee

Week 3 Days 15-21: April 23-29
Theme: Hope, the Omer and Israel

The Omer marks the 50 days the Israelites traveled the desert from Egypt to Sinai. It also marks the wave offering of the Temple on the second day of Passover. What is the Omer and why do we count it? The Omer was an ancient Hebrew measure of grain. Biblical law forbade any use of the new barley crop until an omer was brought as an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem. The Book of Leviticus also commanded: "And from the day on which you bring the offering . . . you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete." This commandment led to the traditional practice of S'firat HaOmer, or "Counting the Omer."

Each week we are tying the counting of the Omer to the theme of hope-this week looking at hope through the lens of Israel. If there has ever been a nation with hope at its core, it is Israel. The nation’s national anthem, Hatikvah, literally means “the hope.” How did hope and Israel become inextricably connected? Read this article to learn more.

And here are a few of moving performances of Hatikvah for your listening pleasure!

Especially during this time of pandemic, let us draw strength and hope from the nation whose foundation is built on such things. Let Israel inspire us to be hopeful as she has been through thousands of years of trials and tribulations and let us inspire others to do the same.

​The Blessing: One stands when counting the omer, and begins by reciting the following blessing:

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’Olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tizivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to count the omer.

After the blessing, one recites the appropriate day of the count and after 6 days, the week is also included in the count. For example: “Today is the fifteenth day, or two weeks and one day of the omer.”

Mon, August 3 2020 13 Av 5780