counting of the Omer

There is a Jewish custom that follows the command to count the days between Passover and Pentecost, known as counting of the Omer.

““Speak to Bnei-Yisrael [sons of Israel] and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen [priest]. He is to wave the omer before ADONAI, to be accepted for you. On the morrow after the Shabbat, the kohen is to wave it.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭23:10-11‬ ‭TLV. https://www.bible.com/314/lev.23.10-11.tlv

““Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering, seven complete Shabbatot. Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat you are to count fifty days, and then present a new grain offering to ADONAI.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭23:15-16‬ ‭TLV‬‬

““Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen. He is to wave the omer before ADONAI, to be accepted for you. On the morrow after the Shabbat, the kohen is to wave it.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭23:10-11‬ ‭TLV‬‬

three figs

fresh figs

The fig tree is a symbol of the Torah. How is that? Figs grow all year round in warm climates. Yet they don’t ripen all at the same time, rather clusters come forth a few days at a time. Hence to eat the yield from the fig tree you need to return daily. Rabbis stress the same practice ought to be how you learn the Torah — read fully to grasp its context, meditate on its meaning, and return for more to find a related teaching. Make connections of anything new with what you already know is trustworthy — that’s how you strengthen your understanding of wisdom.

“Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, whoever takes care of his master will be honored.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:18‬ ‭TLV‬‬

See also Proverbs 2, a chapter on wisdom.

Grady

9-month child posing for camera


Children are a blessing. Many people have great pride in raising their children as their legacy. It’s an upside down world view that tries to say some politically correct opposite, usually couched as a joke.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬ ‭TLV‬‬

old barn

Dilapidated barn
Old barn on Farm Rd 181 in southwest Missouri

During a walk near home I passed this small old barn. I inquired if I could obtain the recycled lumber, but the owner declined and stated she actually wanted to fix the fence surrounding it (not fix the barn).

This led me to muse further of why humans tend to be attracted to nostalgic things, or even our ancestors and our heritage stories.

menorah gimel (three)

Menorah
menorah23
Menorah24
menorah25

A description of the menorah from Exodus 37:

18 There were six branches going out of the sides, three branches out of one side, and three branches out of the other. 19 Three cups made like almond blossoms were in one branch, a bulb within a flower, and three cups made like almond blossoms in the next branch, another bulb within a flower. It was just so for the six branches going out of the menorah20 Also within the menorah were four cups made like almond blossoms, bulbs and flowers,

a lamb (almost a lion)

Profile of lambs head
A lamb profile with full coat

The lamb is mentioned many times in Tanak (Old Testament), mostly in reference to its role in the peace offering, sin offering and the Passover festival.

“If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

By the time of the B’rit hadashah (New Testament) the lamb takes on very strong symbolic meaning, even as a name.

“They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them—because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
‭‭The Revelation‬ ‭17:14‬ ‭TLV‬‬

peace of Shabbat

Wine, Shabbat candles, challah bread

Every Torah-following person – Jew or goyim – will recognize the three main rituals regarding sabbath observance: 

  1. Lighting the Sabbath candles
  2. Saying Kiddush over wine
  3. Reciting HaMotzi over challah bread

There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.
‭Leviticus‬ ‭23:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

See Exodus 20:8 (and Deut 5:12 among many more places) where keeping the Sabbath (Hebrew ‘Shabbat’) is listed as the Fourth Commandment.

Growing up in the secular public schools of my generation I often wondered why we count off seven days, rather than ten days to a week. So one question led to many more questions about traditions, expectations, values, even philosophy (but I’ll defer those to another place).

look upon and remember

Hands grasping near the tzitzit of a tallit (prayer shawl)

“Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread.”  Numbers 15:38‬ ‭
“For she kept saying to herself, “If only I touch His garment, I will be healed.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9:21‬ ‭