Sefirat Ha-Omer Shiur

Sefirat ha-Omer is the mitzvah that frames the season we are in right now, between Pesach and Shavuot. While the action of the mitzvah is fairly straightforward – we count each day and week from the day after Pesach until Shavuot out loud, day by day – the meaning of the mitzvah requires some investigation. It’s called “Counting of the Omer” – that’s also how we refer to the mitzvah in the berakhah we say for it. Yet what is it we are really counting? An Omer is a Torah measure of volume for food – a little over 2 liters or quarts. There is a separate mitzvah to bring an Omer of barley to the Mikdash as an offering on the day after the first Yom Tov of Pesach. Why is this measure specified for the offering and why does the measure give the offering its name? The Omer was brought only once – so what does it mean to “count the Omer?” And are we counting from Pesach or towards Shavuot? With these guiding questions we explore the deeper meaning of this mitzvah and its relevance for our spiritual lives today.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.