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Longing for a new Torah

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“And from the day on which you bring the Omer offering—the day after the sabbath — you shall count off seven complete weeks” (Vayikra 23:15).

When my wife was a teacher at a non-Jewish charter school in Philadelphia, every time a Jewish holiday would come up and she would miss class, which in all honesty was pretty often, her non-Jewish students would say that they wished they were Jewish so they could miss all those school days too. And so in this week’s parsha we take a journey through all seven of those Biblical holidays and their unique mitzvot, starting with Shabbat, continuing with Pesach, and concluding with Sukkot.

And amidst all the holidays we meet a unique mitzvah known as Sefirat HaOmer, or the Counting of the Omer.

“And from the day on which you bring the Omer offering—the day after the sabbath—you shall count seven complete weeks” (Vayikra 23:15).

The next passage explains more about the counting: “you must count until the day after the seventh week—fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Vayikra 23:16).

We are told to count 49 days from the first Omer offering, and then on day 50 a new offering is brought, not one of barley, but one of wheat grain. Though the passages are somewhat cryptic here, day 50 is the holiday we know as Shavuot, which literally means “weeks,”........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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