A Bisl Torah

A Soulful Journey

The omer is not the most widely celebrated mitzvah. However, with patience, grace, and intention, the omer holds potential to be a soul-stirring experience.

From the second night of Passover until Shavuot, we “count” each evening to mark the ritual of Jews bringing sheaf offerings to the Temple in gratitude for the harvest. Today, when no sheaf offering is given, we look at the evening counting as a spiritual link between Passover and Shavuot.

Rabbi Melissa Buyer-Witman explains, “On Passover, we celebrate leaving Egypt, which represents a narrow place of constriction and limitation of choice. We journey out into the open space, which is liberating but also uncharted terrain, where we may encounter doubt, uncertainty, and fear. As we learn to be in the unknown, we also internalize a vision of faith and discover ourselves feeling a new sense of belonging, more connected and at home.” In other words, Passover is the beginning of our journey into the wilderness. We have the opportunity to leave the narrowness of what constrains us and explore that which might open our hearts anew. An expansiveness that has not yet been realized.

49 days later, we reach Shavuot, the celebration of receiving the Torah. What kind of spiritual journey must we walk through to break open our hearts? To receive what the Torah is saying specifically to each one of us?

These weeks of counting remind us to look inward, introspectively asking: what will enable me to leave my person Egypt and walk confidently towards a Promised Land?

May your evenings be filled with reflection and wonder, gratitude, and blessings. As you wander through your spiritual journey, let God be your guide and Torah be your destination.

Shabbat Shalom

In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.

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