The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” refers to the day following the first day of Pesach which is a … Continue reading The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

Mechanics of Counting Omer

Before counting the Omer, one recites the following blessing: “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the counting of the Omer.”  Both the blessing and the counting are said, le’chatchilah, in a standing position.  If one said them while sitting, he has nonetheless fulfilled his obligation (Sh.A. 489:1). There are two components … Continue reading Mechanics of Counting Omer

Going to the House of Hashem

Parshas Bamidbar Shavuos This coming Motza’ei Shabbat, we begin observing the holiday of Shavuot. R’ Yitzchak Arama z”l (Spain; died 1494) asks what he calls a “strong question”: Why does the Torah never mention that Shavuot is the anniversary of the Giving of the Torah? He offers several answers: First, the Torah cannot logically command us to observe the day of receiving the Torah as a holiday. He explains: There is … Continue reading Going to the House of Hashem

Sefirat HaOmer

A “Sefirat HaOmer” chart by Aharon Varady in the design of Lauren Deutsch, following the color correspondences of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l. Each of the seven weeks and days of the Omer is represented by one of the seven lower Sephirot: Ḥesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzaḥ, Hod, Yesod, and Malkhut, the creative emanations all the worlds were created and continually sustained, as taught in the Kabbalistic … Continue reading Sefirat HaOmer