Counting the Omer 2021 – WEEKS 3 & 4

WEEK THREE : 11 – 18 APRIL 2021

BLESSING: 

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu be’mitzvotav ve’tzivanu al Sefirat ha’Omer. Ha’yom, yom echad [sheni, shlishi…] ba’Omer.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us through Your commandments, and has commanded us to count the Omer.

Today is Day [one, two, three.etc.] of the Omer.

11-12 APRIL : Today is Day 15, which is 2 weeks and 1 day of the Omer 

SAMECH Psalm 119:113-120 

Se’afim – I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Thy Torah. 

               Thou art my hiding place and my shield.

Se’afim are those who irresolutely waver between two or more courses. In verse 112, the Psalmist declared that he has set his heart on fulfilling the will of the Lord and walking in His ways, forever and to the utmost of his abilities. In so doing, he finds a faithful shelter and a constant shield of protection in God’s Presence.

Torah, the Word of God, is mostly comprised of the word orah, which means light. The Torah is the basis of God’s instructions on how to walk in His ways. It’s not meant to be a heavy load but without orah – it is heavy. When we live in His love, truth and revelation it is light.

Let us treasure and stand in continual awe of the unshakable Word of the Almighty.

12-13 APRIL: Today is Day 16, which is 2 weeks and 2 day of the Omer

 

AYIN Psalm 119:121-128 

Asiti – I have done justice and righteousness;… I love Thy commandments more than gold, yes, above fine gold.

The enemies of the God of Israel attempt to undermine and destroy the Word of God. The Psalmist chooses to act in the “justice and righteousness” as taught in the Torah because he loves the Lawgiver and His commandments – they are his eternal treasure.

Abraham’s hopes and fears are ours. The Divine future does not mean that we can leave the future to God. Abraham realized that God was depending on him – He needed him! Faith does not mean passivity. It means the courage to act and never to be deterred. The future will happen, but it is we – inspired, empowered , given strength by God’s promise – who must bring it about.

12-13 APRIL: Today is Day 17, which is 2 weeks and 3 day of the Omer 

PEH Psalm119:129-136 

Pe’laot – Thy testimonies are wondrous…The unfolding of Thy words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

‘Wondrous’ here denotes beyond one’s reach and understanding. The great wonder lies in the reality of God’s desire to communicate with His people and in how He makes it possible in the unfolding of His Word, which sheds light and grants us understanding.

Every Shabbat, every festival, every new day, reminds us to be surprised by the newness God has to offer. We need to be in wonder at this newness that He offers us constantly. Every breath is new – the one before, like yesterday, is gone. With this understanding, we can pray meaningfully. Pray what our Father wants of us today; then we can can give to others in harmony and cooperation with Him.

~ Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

 13-14 APRILToday is Day 18, which is 2 weeks and 4 days of the Omer 

TZADI Psalm 119:137-144 

Tzaddik – “Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and upright are Thy judgments….Give me understanding that I may live.”

Again the Psalmist cries for insight and understanding of God’s judgments, of His righteousness and truth, for he knows that in them he will find true life.

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

14-15 APRIL: Today is Day 19 which is 2 weeks and 5 days of the Omer 

KUPH Psalm 119:145-152 

Karati – I cried with all my heart; answer me O Lord! … Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness.”

The cry in verse 146, hoshieini, Rabbi S.R.Hirsch translates as, “Grant me a new, unbowed being.”

Life is filled with tests and challenges and those who oppose the ways of God, often aim to see a godly person’s downfall. Our hope is in the unwavering chesed, lovingkindness, of our Father in Heaven. He is always there to hear our cry when we cry to Him with a whole heart. In His love we can stand strong and unbowed before men.

15-16 APRIL: Today is Day 20 which is 2 weeks and 6 days of the Omer 

RESH Psalm 119:153-160 

Re’eh – Look upon my affliction and rescue me, for I do not forget Thy Torah. …The sum of Thy Word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting.”

God not only hears but He sees. His eyes are continually upon His children and He is ready to help in our afflictions.

The Psalmist reminds us in Psalm 146:5-9, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob…who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. …The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”

16-17 APRIL: Today is Day 21, which is 3 weeks of the Omer 

SHIN – Psalm 119:161-168 

Sarim – Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Thy words.”

“We sin against God, first and foremost, because we scoff at His Word and act contrary to His will.”

~ Rabbi S.R.Hirsch, The Hirsch Psalms

May our hearts be open and transparent before the Lord and our lives fully committed to His Word of light and life.

WEEK FOUR : 11 – 18 APRIL 2021

BLESSING

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu be’mitzvotav ve’tzivanu al Sefirat ha’Omer. Ha’yom, yom echad [sheni, shlishi…] ba’Omer.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us through Your commandments, and has commanded us to count the Omer.

16-17 APRIL:  Today is Day 22, 3 weeks and 1 day 

Tav Psalm 119:169-176

 Tikrav – Let my cry come before Thee O Lord 

Deliver me according to Thy Word. …Let my soul sing of Thy Word, for all Thy commandments are righteousness.”

In the knowledge that God hears our cries and is ready to help and deliver, we can sing a song of praise to extol Him and the faithfulness of His Word.
Every person has his or her own special, unique song; one that will bring blessing to our Father and to others.
We need to recognize it and to have the faith and courage to bring it forth.
You can touch the lives of others. The world is waiting to hear your song!

Note:  We have reached the end of Psalm 119 and will continue with a selection of Omer thoughts. 

 

17-18 APRIL:

Today is Day 23, which is 3 weeks and 2 days of the Omer

 

This is a season of Revelation. When we set our hearts in the direction of Love and Truth, of immersing ourselves in His Word with a deep desire for more intimate knowledge of the Beloved of our souls, this earnest searching and learning is where the miracle process of revelation begins to unfold.

“A man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God. … we shall not be well so long as we love and admire anything more than we love and admire God.”

~ C.S. Lewis

 

18-19 APRIL: Today is Day 24, which is 3 weeks and 3 days of the Omer

He has every day of our lives in His hands.

Every moment of the seven days between our physical departure from Egypt and the stunning deliverance at the Sea of Reeds was carefully and lovingly choreographed by the Holy One. What seemed to us at the time to be confusion and aimless wandering around in the Desert, a mere chariot charge away from Pharaoh and his army, was all part of a Grand Strategy planned before the foundation of the cosmos.

Before we left the border area of Egypt, we simply had to see Pharaoh for who he really was. And we had to see ourselves for who we really were. And, most importantly, we had to see our God for Who He has always been, is today, and will forever be.

~Bill Bullock, The Rabbi’s Son 

 

19-20 APRIL: Today is Day 25 – which is 3 weeks and 4 days of the Omer

In ALL things give thanks – for He is constantly working ALL things together in His love for your total and eternal good!

“This is one of the miracles of love; it gives – to both, but perhaps especially to the woman – a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.

To see, in some measure, like God. His love and His knowledge are not distinct from one another, nor from Him. We could almost say He sees because He loves, and therefore loves although He sees.”      ~ C.S. Lewis

20-21 APRIL: Today is Day 26 – which is 3 weeks and 5 days of the Omer

I AM HIS! Each one of us, as human beings, is uniquely created by God in His image and likeness. We are specifically formed and sent into this world to live out the purpose for which we were created.

“That which allows me to fulfil my full potential, to soar to my highest heights, is freedom. True freedom, the highest freedom, is the freedom that comes from submitting to our Creator; then we are bound to a force that allows us to sing [our own uniques song” [one that He composed for His glory.]

~Rabbi Pesach Wolicki 

 

21-22 APRIL: Today is Day 27 – which is 3 weeks and 6 days of the Omer

Our hearts can be filled with anticipation for this great day!

‘On this mountain [Zion] the Lord of Hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine… And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the Lord, YHWH, has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:6-8)

The Exodus from Egypt only appears to be a past event. But, in truth, the Exodus never ceases. The arm of God that was revealed in Egypt to redeem HIs people’s constantly outstretched and constantly active. The revelation of the hand pf God is the breaking through of the light of God, shining great lights for all generations.

~ Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook

 

22-23 APRIL: Today is DAY 28 – which is 4 weeks of the Omer

In ALL things give thanks – for He is constantly working ALL things together in His love for your total and eternal good!

“There is such a hunger in the world, a hunger for something beautiful and holy.
A hunger for one good word, for a message from God.
People who are hungry for something lofty and glorious love each other so much.
Spiritually hungry people feel so close to each other. 

Yerushalayim, the Holy City, is headquarters for the hungry people.
’And I will bring them to My holy mountain. And I will make them glad in My House of Prayer,’ the prophet Isaiah says,
‘For My House will be called a House of Prayer for all nations.’”

 ~ Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, The Heart of Jerusalem

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