Emor – R’vi’i

Counting the Omer

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Next, G-d outlined the various holidays, starting with Shabbos (every Saturday). He then detailed Pesach (Passover – one week, starting the 15th day of the month of Nisan, with the Passover sacrifice offered on 14 Nisan).

When the Jews settle Israel, they would bring an omer (a specific measure) of the barley harvest, which the kohein would offer in a waving motion. There was a sacrifice offered with it, after which a person could use his new crop (“chadash”). This offering was made on the second day of Pesach.

The Jews were to count seven weeks from the bringing of the omer. The fiftieth day is the holiday of Shavuos (“Weeks”). On that day, two loaves of new grain would be brought as an offering, along with seven sheep, a bull and a ram. These constitute a burnt offering; there would also be a sin offering of a goat and a peace offering of two sheep.

The date of Shavuos isn’t stated by the Torah since it’s counted from Passover, but it falls on the 6th day of the month of Sivan.

G-d adds to leave the corners of one’s field for the poor as well as dropped stalks, reiterating what was said in parshas Kedoshim (19:9).

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