The Thinking Jew Podcast: Ep. 73 Understanding Counting the Omer. By Rabbi Moshe Segal
There is a biblical obligation to count 50 days from the Omer offering (Leviticus chapter 23), and then on the 50th day to bring an offering of two breads and celebrate a holiday (Shavuos). Even in modern times, in which we no longer have a temple and can no longer perform these offerings, we still count the 50 day period from when the Omer should’ve been brought until Shavuos.
What exactly is the purpose of the counting? Why is the Omer offering brought in the middle of Passover? What is the connection between Passover and Shavuos (the two bookends of this counting)? Why does the Torah require the Omer offering to be from barley while the two bread offering must be from leavened wheat? Why is Shavuos celebrated as the 50th day from the Omer and not based on a calendar date?
Join me as we look into the deeper connection between Passover and Shavuos, and how the respective offerings brought on each holiday connects to the essence of what that holiday represents. With that knowledge in place, we can unlock the deeper meaning of the counting of the Omer!
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All the sources quoted in this podcast can be viewed on this source sheet: https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/403574?lang=bi