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Jewish Holidays

49 Plus 33 Plus 1

May 4, 2007, by

Sefiras Ha’omer, Lag Ba’Omer and The Power of Achdut: Why is the korban named after the amount which is brought? What is the connection between the Omer and Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students?

The “Omer” Controversy

June 30, 2006, by

A sect, known as the Tzedukim, after one of its founders, Tzadok, believed in the absolutely literal interpretation of the Torah. Therefore, they said that when the Torah says “on the day after the Shabbat,” it meant “Shabbat” in its regular meaning, the Seventh Day of the week, and therefore, according to this sadly mistaken […]

The Omer Offering

June 30, 2006, by

What the Torah Says: The Torah says, in the context of introducing the commandment of “Sefirat HaOmer,” the following: (Vayikra 23:9-14) “And G-d gave this instruction to Moshe, to communicate: Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the Land which I Am giving to you, and you harvest its […]

Two Heroes of Sefirat HaOmer

June 30, 2006, by

Two great giants of Jewish History are involved in the observance of the Days of Sefirat HaOmer; they are Rabbi Akiva and his student, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Rabbi Akiva is involved in the sad aspect of the Days, because, according to tradition, 24,000 of his students perished during this period. The reason generally given […]

Celebration of Lag BaOmer

June 30, 2006, by

Where does the name come from? The Day is given its name by its count in Sefirat HaOmer, which is thirty-three. How so? – You ask. Like so: The numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letter “lamed” is thirty. Similarly, the numerical equivalent of the letter “gimmel” is three. By higher mathematics, and the use of […]

Expressions of Mourning in Sefirat HaOmer

June 30, 2006, by

How does one express mourning during the Period of Sefirat HaOmer? There are a number of ways; let me count them: By not taking a haircut By not getting married (but to get engaged is OK, because Jewish Law views the supreme importance of certain areas of life, such as finding, with G-d’s help, one’s […]

Emotions of Sefirat HaOmer

June 30, 2006, by

First of all, what do you mean by emotions one is “supposed to feel?” Doesn’t a person just feel one way or another? How can one be commanded to control one’s emotions? Good question(s)! But in Judaism, the approach is that thoughts, and even one’s emotions are, to some extent, under one’s control. As proof, […]

Transliterated Version of Sefirat HaOmer

June 30, 2006, by

The following is a transliterated version of “Sefirat HaOmer,” from the Alef-Bet into the English Alphabet. (Note the variation indicated by “ba-omer (or la-omer)” which refers to the two traditional texts in use for the Sefirat HaOmer. In one translation, “ba,” the preposition is “in” as in “in the count of the Omer.” In the […]

From Ruin to Renewal

June 26, 2006, by

Sefirat HaOmer and the Four Days of Remembrance The period of time beginning the second night of Pesach and climaxing forty-nine full days later with the Festival of Shavuot can be called a time of “Ruin and Renewal” for the Jewish People. The period includes the following six elements, one encompassing the entire forty-nine day […]

Sefira: The Countdown to Shavuot

May 17, 2006, by

Sefira: The Countdown to Shavuot – Given by Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn, noted author and mohel. Part of the exclusive OU Torah Dimensions series on Pesach Themes. We can’t be ready for the Torah without being complete in your interpersonal interactions. This is why R’ Akiva’s students passed away before Shavuot.