D’var Torah: Rabbi Marcia Plumb (Emor)

פַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃

And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering—the day after the sabbath—you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: (16)

עַ֣ד מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַשַּׁבָּת֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔ת תִּסְפְּר֖וּ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים י֑וֹם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֛ם מִנְחָ֥ה חֲדָשָׁ֖ה לַיהוָֽה׃

You must count until the day after the seventh week—fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the LORD. (17)

This week we are in the midst of observing the biblical command from this week’s parasha to count the days of the Omer.   The Kabbalists added a trait from the Sefirot to each of the weeks. According to the Kabbalists, the Sefirot are the Emanations that reveal God’s presence.  In our home, each week of the Omer, I create a poster with a set of questions for the family to think about and discuss, related to each week, and trait.  I offer them here to you:

Week One of the Omer
Hesed: Lovingkindness
How have you shown hesed this week?
How have you said thank you for hesed shown to you this week?
 
Week Two of the Omer
Gevurah: Strength
What are your strengths and gifts?
When have you felt strong and confident this week?
How have you shown inner strength this week?
How have you shown strength of character this week?

Week Three of the Omer
Tifferet:  Beauty
What have you noticed that is beautiful this week?
When have you shown inner beauty this week?
How have you brought out the beauty in others this week?

Week Four of the Omer
Netzah:  Endurance, Determination, Victory
What helps you overcome obstacles?  How can the family help you succeed?
What keeps you going when you want to quit?
What do you feel victorious about this week?  What are your successes this week?

Week Five of the Omer
Hod:  Gratitude
What are you grateful for this week?
How have you shown gratitude to others this week?

Week Six of the Omer
Yesod: Bonding, Nurturing, Foundation
How have you shown love and nurturing to yourself this week?  How have you looked after yourself?
How have you shown love and nurturing to others this week?

Week Seven of the Omer
Malchut:  Majesty, Nobility
How have you shown nobility of character this week?
How have you risen to be your best self this week?
How have you brought out the best in others this week?
How have you seen the noble in others this week?

By Rabbi Marcia Plumb, Rabbi of Congregation Mishkan Tefila, and Chaplain at Orchard Cove, with Hebrew Senior Life 

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