Congregation Beth Messiah
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Proclaiming Yeshua is the Messiah!
Counting the Omer 4/7 through 5/26
Date: Monday, April 16, 2012
For a Messianic Jewish prayer guide for counting the omer, click here.
Sefirat Ha'omer, Hebrew: ספירת העומר
This year the first night of counting the Omer starts after sundown on Shabbat evening, Saturday, April 7.
Here's how to count the Omer:
1. Recite the blessing each evening: Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al sefirat ha-Omer.
2. Recite the count of the Omer, saying: Today is day ___, which is ___ week(s) and ___ day(s) of the omer.
3. Use the guide to pray based on the Scripture for the day. Note: the entire portion for the day is not always printed in full.
4. Put aside some tzedakah each night to present as an offering on Shavuot.
"The command to count the Omer ( Leviticus 23:15–6) tells us to count seven complete weeks from the day after Passover night ending with the festival of Shavuot on the fiftieth day. The 49 days of the Omer correspond both to the time between physical emancipation from Egypt and the spiritual liberation of the giving of the Torah at the foot of Mount Sinai on Shavuot, as well as the time between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest in ancient Israel...This mitzvah derives from the Torah commandment to count forty-nine days beginning from the day on which the Omer, a sacrifice containing an omer-measure of barley, was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, up until the day before an offering of wheat was brought to the Temple on Shavuot. The Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) for Rabbinic Jews, and after the weekly Shabbat during Passover for Karaite Jews, and ends the day before the holiday ofShavuot, the 'fiftieth day.'
"For several years, UMJC congregations and supporters have joined in seven weeks of prayer between Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost), the traditional season of counting the Omer (Lev. 23:15-16). As we pray together this year, we will retrace the original journey from Passover to Shavuot, from Egypt to Mount Sinai, where Moses says to all Israel, "You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your G-d—your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp—to enter into the covenant of the Lord your G-d" (Dt. 29:9–10 NJPS). The sages say that every generation was present at Mount Sinai when G-d made his covenant with Israel (Exodus Rabbah 28:6), and so we pray through seven weeks for the multi-generational Messianic Jewish community. "
This year's offering in honor of Shavuot goes to strengthen the K20 initiative, Focusing on Future Leadership, with a tithe of the offering going to Messianic Jewish efforts among young people in the Land of Israel.