Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
As I write these words Pesach is almost upon us. I can’t wait!
At our second-night seder we’ll begin a seven-week journey known as the Counting of the Omer. We count the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot, linking liberation with revelation. Once these were the weeks during which we grew our spring wheat harvest to bring to the Temple in Jerusalem; today these are weeks during which we nurture and nourish an internal harvest of personal and spiritual growth.
I hope you’ll join us on Fridays at 3pm in my office for our Omer discussion group. All are welcome.
And if you’d like some terrific Omer resources which will come directly to your home computer, here are a few:
- I’ll be sharing daily Omer poems on my personal blog, Velveteen Rabbi. The poems will draw on kabbalistic (mystical) and Mussar (personal refinement) teachings to deepen and enliven each day’s counting. You can subscribe to the blog by going to Velveteen Rabbi and entering your email address where it says “enter your email address” in the right-hand sidebar of the page. (My collection of Omer poems will see print in late winter of 2016.)
- Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff will be sending out a daily email during the omer, with kabbalistic insights for daily awareness practice; if you want to be on the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rabbi T’mimah Ickovitz has the custom of sharing a daily teaching or inspiration related to the Omer count at Holistic Jew (Facebook), and is sharing new ones this year during the Omer.
- Rabbi Goldie Milgram will be offering daily Omer teachings online at ReclaimingJudaism.org.
- Joy Krauthammer adds writing and art to her Omer website each day of the Omer.
- Brian Yosef Schachter Brooks is offering an online meditation class, with an in-person Omer component, as a fundraiser for ALEPH. Read all about it: Jewish meditation e-course.
- And Rabbi Jill Zimmerman and Rabbi Cindy Enger of the Jewish Mindfulness Network will once again be offering daily Omer emails this year; to sign up, go here: http://eepurl.com/bir5sX
May these various offerings enrich these next seven weeks and help all of us journey toward Shavuot with mindfulness, discernment, and joy!
Blessings to all —