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July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
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Omer Simplified

Omer

Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Did you count the Omer last night?

This is what it looks like. It’s harvest time in a field near the central Israeli town of Modi’in.

For almost 30 years, I used to experience the conflict between the second day of Passover and the first day of the Passover Chol Hamo’ed (intermediary days between the holiday’s first and last day). It’s a funny thing: we are commanded to start counting the Omer–the 49 days until we can sacrifice an omer-measure of barley–on the second night of Passover, which is the first Chol Hamo’ed night. If we were to count the Omer in shul, before the second seder, wouldn’t that suggest that we don’t really think the second night is a full holiday, but, rather, Chol Hamo’ed?

So I used to count the first day of the Omer only after the end of the second seder. Now, considering the fact the one is commanded to imbibe 4 cups of red wine during the second seder, just like the first — one can get a bit panicky about forgetting to count stuff.

Today I’m free from all of the above. First night is the seder, second night the Omer. Simple, straight forward, no conflicts.

This has been another installment of our “Come to Israel already” program.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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