Congregation Neve Shalom Celebrating Imaginative Judaism
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Counting of the Omer, 2007

The Omer is the barley sheath that was waved in the holy Temple times.

The days of the waving of the Omer were counted from the second day of Passover until the fiftieth day, which is Shavuot. The barley was the first grain harvested in Israel; the Omer is the first of the cuttings of the season.

The Omer connects our freedom drama inextricably with our wisdom drama, culminating in the giving and receiving of Torah. For us, freedom always implies wisdom.

In the Kabbalistic sensibility, the Omer period was a period of intense personal transformation, corresponding to the transformative work of the Wilderness. In the space between the release from Egypt and the acquisition of Torah on Sinai (the two poles of freedom from and freedom for) we have the days that we count the Omer. The counting is called Sefirah, as is each of the ten divine energies (homonyms or maybe something more).

Each week of the Omer period is given over to a certain Sefirah, a certain one of the divine universals that characterize all existence, and each day of that week is given over to the working of one of the daily Sefirot on the basic inner reality of the weekly Sefirah.

Let us call the Sefirot divine energies. There are ten of them in the traditional Kabbalistic sensibility.

Each day of the week corresponds to one of the lower seven Sefirot.

This year we will use an on-line intention for each day of the Omer given up by Will Soll, in a poetic form of his own creation. Feel free to respond to the intention given by Will any way you like. I will add some material as we move through the Omer, all with the goal of -- attentiveness.

"When people pay attention to what happens to them during the days of the Sefirah period, they soon become aware that all they see and hear on that day is but the activity of that Sefirah and that it can serve to align then to God's blessed will." -- Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav.

We begin the counting on Tuesday evening this year, April 3rd.

Key:
Chesed
Gevurah
Tiferet
Netzach
Hod
Yesod
Malchut
love
severity, power, anger
beauty, pride, the masculine, the outer notion
triumph, aggrandizement
glory, beauty
foundation, including sexual energy
majesty, the feminine, the inner notion


Click on the links below to read each weeks discussion:

Week 1
Day 1: Chesed in Chesed
Day 2: Gevurah in Chesed
Day 3: Tiferet in Chesed
Day 4: Netzach in Chesed
Day 5: Hod in Chesed
Day 6: Yesod in Chesed
Day 7: Malchut in Chesed


Week 2
Day 1: Chesed in Gevurah
Day 2: Gevurah in Gevurah
Day 3: Tiferet in Gevurah
Day 4: Netzach in Gevurah
Day 5: Hod in Gevurah
Day 6: Yesod in Gevurah
Day 7: Malchut in Gevurah


Week 3
Day 1: Chesed in Tiferet
Day 2: Gevurah in Tiferet
Day 3: Tiferet in Tiferet
Day 4: Netzach in Tiferet
Day 5: Hod in Tiferet
Day 6: Yesod in Tiferet
Day 7: Malchut in Tiferet


Week 4
Day 1: Chesed in Netzach
Day 2: Gevurah in Netzach
Day 3: Tiferet in Netzach
Day 4: Netzach in Netzach
Day 5: Hod in Netzach
Day 6: Yesod in Netzach
Day 7: Malchut in Netzach


Week 5
Day 1: Chesed in Hod
Day 2: Gevurah in Hod
Day 3: Tiferet in Hod
Day 4: Netzach in Hod
Day 5: Hod in Hod
Day 6: Yesod in Hod
Day 7: Malchut in Hod


Week 6
Day 1: Chesed in Yesod
Day 2: Gevurah in Yesod
Day 3: Tiferet in Yesod
Day 4: Netzach in Yesod
Day 5: Hod in Yesod
Day 6: Yesod in Yesod
Day 7: Malchut in Yesod


Week 7
Day 1: Chesed in Malchut
Day 2: Gevurah in Malchut
Day 3: Tiferet in Malchut
Day 4: Netzach in Malchut Malchut
Day 5: Hod in Malchut
Day 6: Yesod in Malchut
Day 7: Malchut in Malchut

*N.B. Donít forget, for us the day begins the evening before.

Rabbi James Stone Goodman
Congregation Neve Shalom

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