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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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.