Counting the Omer

Wheat Sheaves in Basket

Wheat Sheaves in Basket

As of today, we are 20 days into the 49 day period of time in the Jewish calendar that connects Passover with Shavuot. The word Omer refers to a sheaf of barley, which in the days of the Temple, each member of the community brought a harvest offering, and was commanded to count the 49 days until Shavuot – the Festival of Weeks when we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Every day, we count that day after sunset, with a blessing.  If you forget to count before midnight, you can count the next day, but you can’t recite the blessing. I have never yet managed to count all 49 days of the Omer.
I don’t know if this year will finally be my year to successfully count the Omer all the way, but I’m off to a good start, thanks, in large measure, to the Omer Project at Tikvat Israel (my synagogue). For the past few months, a group of us had met to put together a variety of events to get participants involved in activities that will nourish body and soul. I was asked to get involved because I have led meditation sessions at… [continued]

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