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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘omer’

Jacqueline Nicholls: New Works

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

JCC Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street: Laurie M. Tisch Gallery
Call for hours
Through November 1 – www.jccmanhattan.org; 646-505-4444
Jacquelinenicholls.com

Jacqueline Nicholls, a Jewish artist from England, presents us with a formidable challenge. Namely, what is the role of a contemporary Jewish Woman artist and how does one confront patriarchal dominance? She presents her response to both queries in her current exhibition at the JCC Manhattan, beautifully curated by Tobi Kahn and organized by Tisch Gallery director Megan Whitman. The results are breathtakingly forceful, subtle and insightful.

For Nicholls a Jewish woman must be armed with a deep and abiding knowledge of Torah, Tanach and Talmud, hand in hand, if she so chooses, with an artistic immersion in what has been called the Feminine Crafts, i.e. the fabric arts and traditional “Women’s Work.” This Jewish artist affirms that she must be especially articulate in Jewish texts to practice a “counter-voice to turn the narrative” and indeed that is what she does both in her choice of subject and exposition thereof. Her explorations are exhilarating.

The exhibition has three components: “Gather the Broken,” meditations on the Omer; “The Kittel Collection,” studies of a ritual garment and “Ghosts & Shadows,” considerations of women in Talmud.

The series of 49 omer meditations explore the multiple aspects of loss that the days between Passover and Shavuos engender. As an aspect of the semi-mourning that the omer demands, Nicholls looked to the minutia of her daily existence for inspiration. Her emphasis on that which is broken reflects, “only by acknowledging the broken, imperfect aspects of daily life [can]… creativity and a new life can be revealed.” This new and renewed life is of course accomplished on Shavous in the acceptance of the Torah at Sinai. This year she created a series of small drawings, one on each day of the Omer and posted on her blog, accompanied by the poetic commentary of Amichai Lau-Lavie. The strength of these drawings, aside from the pure skill of her draftsmanship, is that Nicholls manages to totally personalize the obsessive ritual of omer counting in a way that internalizes both the ritual and the meaning of each individual day even while making a unified work of art. This asserts a uniquely Jewish notion that from brokenness creativity arises.

The kittel is a ritual garment that cloaks us in white in the effort to convince ourselves that we can actually be “white,” as Isaiah (1:18) proclaims that; “Come, now let us reason together, says Hashem. If your sins are like scarlet they will become white as snow.” So too are the other times when we use the kittel – to bury, to marry, to pray on Yom Kippur or lead the congregation on momentous occasions. We don the costume of purity in the effort to become pure. In a similar manner Nicholls has created a series of 10 garments based on the kittel template to explore how a garment can be used to transform meaning and identity in the Jewish tradition.

The “Shame Kittel” is little more than a simple apron, stained black at the bottom edge and discolored a sickly yellow up around the neck. Buried in the yellow is an array of epithets used against the Jews by anti-Semites of all ages. What Nicholls is affirming is that an important part of Jewish identity is never forgetting what those who hate us say about us. Nonetheless a number of the other kittels are more positive, especially the “Majestic Kittel” and the “New Kittel.” The latter offers its seams stitched in gold and an embroidered label in gold with the Shehechayanuprayer, emphasizing our thankfulness to God for giving us new and beautiful things to wear.

Mourning Kittel (2012) cloth, wire by Jacqueline Nicholls
Courtesy JCC Manhattan

Perhaps the most moving kittel is the “Mourning Kittel,” as it transforms the shirt of mourning into a lurid expression of mourners’ emotions. Not surprisingly one of the sleeves is shredded from a frenzy of kriah, the mourners’ ritual tearing of garments. The collar is high and closed tight by a dense coil of metal wire around the neck, deeply expressive of the choking pain of loss. Finally in the center of the ragged garment, somewhere between the chest and stomach, the seams come together to form a hollow that sinks into the interior of the garment. It is as if this is where the pain of bereavement has burrowed into the very substance of the mourner. The symbolic power of this garment is awesome.

Sefirat Ha’Omer At Sunset

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Question: May one recite Sefirat Ha’Omer with a berachah after sunset (shekiah)?

Answer: Yes. The Chayeh Adam (klal 131:6) explicitly rules that according to those authorities who maintain that sefirat ha’omer is a rabbinic mitzvah, it is permitted l’chat’chila to recite sefirat ha’omer after shekiah with a berachah.

The Chayeh Adam (klal 131:1) claims sefirat ha’omer is only a rabbinic obligation since nowadays we no longer cut or bring the omer offering. The Mishnah Berurah (Orach Chayim 489:14) clearly states that the majority of halachic authorities maintain that sefirat ha’omer is only a rabbinic mitzvah nowadays. Nonetheless, he maintains that it is proper to wait until nighttime (tzeit hakochavim) to count sefirah since it’s best to avoid performing this mitzvah between sunset and tzeit hakochavim – a time period that is of questionable halachic status.

This ruling, however, is difficult to understand since halacha allows one to perform rabbinic mitzvot with a berachah during this period of time l’chat’chila. Furthermore, the Mechaber (Orach Chayim, 493:4) writes that “women had the practice of refraining from work from Pesach to Atzeret from sunset onwards.” Why? One explanation, offered by the Mishnah Berurah (O.C. 493:19), is that sunset commences the period of time when one should count the omer (according to the Tur). The Bible uses the word “shabatot” in talking about the omer, a word that is related to the word “shevut,” or “rest” – which suggests that one should refrain from work during the period one counts the omer.

Many people forget to count omer if they do not do so it in shul. Therefore, if a congregation davens Maariv early, it is advisable that it count sefirah with a berachah (as long as shekiah has passed). There are more than enough halachic bases and sources to rely on.

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, has authored several works on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas,” is available at Amazon .com and Judaica stores.

Counting The Previous Day’s Sefirah

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

In this week’s parshah we read about the mitzvah of Sefiras Ha’Omer. Interestingly the reading of this mitzvah coincides with the actual time to perform the mitzvah. The pasuk says, “u’sefartem lachem…sheva Shabbasos temimos – and you should count for yourselves…seven complete weeks.” The mitzvah is to count the days and weeks from the second day of Pesach until Shavuos. One is required to count sefirah at night. We learn from the word temimos that optimally one should count at the beginning of the night so that the entire night can be counted.

One who forgets to count sefirah at night may count during the day without a berachah, and then continue counting the rest of the days with a berachah. If one forgets to count sefirah at night and does not remember to count by day, he may not count with a berachah thereafter.

The following is an interesting question that can commonly arise: One forgot to count Thursday night and did not remember to count during the day on Friday. He then accepted Shabbos early and reminded himself afterwards that he had not counted sefirah. While it is technically still the day (it’s still light outside), this individual has already brought in Shabbos. Do we already consider it nighttime, rendering it too late for him to count for Thursday night’s requirement – and he thus may no longer count with a berachah? Or does the fact that it is actually still daytime enable him to count, even after he has accepted Shabbos?

In answering this question some Achronim refer to a similar halacha from the Taz. The Taz (Teshuvos 600) discusses a scenario where a community did not have a shofar on Rosh Hashanah, which fell out on Friday. After the community accepted Shabbos early, a non-Jew brought them a shofar. Here’s the question: Do we still consider it daytime and thus the shofar can still be blown, or is it nighttime and there is no longer a mitzvah to blow shofar? The Taz gave two reasons for why they could blow shofar. First, accepting Shabbos is similar to making a neder, whereby if it was done b’taos (mistakenly) it is not valid. Since the community would not have accepted Shabbos if they knew that they would be receiving a shofar afterwards, the acceptance was done b’taos – and is not valid.

Second, the Taz, quoting the Beis Yosef in the name of the Smag, says that in regard to calculating the eighth day for a bris milah we only look at whether it is actually day or night. It does not matter if one davened Ma’ariv or accepted Shabbos early; if it is still day the bris will be eight days from the day, not from the night. The Vilna Gaon explains that mitzvos that are not dependent on Shabbos, even if one accepts Shabbos early, are considered as if done during the day. Based on this the Taz ruled that they could blow shofar – even after accepting Shabbos.

Reb Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:99:3) discusses whether the Taz’s ruling can be applied to the question of Sefiras Ha’Omer. The first point that the Taz used to permit the community to blow shofar after they accepted Shabbos early was that it was considered that they accepted Shabbos b’taos, since they would not have accepted Shabbos had they known that a shofar was going to be brought. Reb Moshe says that this reasoning can only apply if one only accepted Shabbos (i.e. said “Mizmor shir l’yom haShabbos”), but has not yet davened Ma’ariv. But if one already davened Ma’ariv, we will not consider the acceptance of Shabbos to be b’taos.

This is because there are several variations from the Taz’s scenario. In the Taz’s example, the ruling affected an entire community. When an entire community mistakenly accepts Shabbos early, even if they davened Ma’ariv, they do not repeat Shemoneh Esrei. Regarding Sefiras Ha’Omer, however, we are generally discussing an individual who forgot to count the night before. The halacha is that an individual must repeat the Shemoneh Esrei if he mistakenly accepts Shabbos (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 263:14). Therefore if we consider the individual’s acceptance of Shabbos to have been done mistakenly, it will result in rendering the seven berachos that he davened in Shemoneh Esrei to be berachos levatalah – since he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei. How can we assume that in order to fulfill a mitzvah mi’de’rabbanan (according to many opinions Sefiras Ha’Omer is only mi’de’rabbanan nowadays) one would not have accepted Shabbos, if by doing so we create seven berachos levatalah? And perhaps even if it was in order to gain a mitzvah de’oraisa – if we are discussing an individual’s acceptance of Shabbos where he already davened and will have to repeat Shemoneh Esrei – we would not consider his acceptance of Shabbos to be b’taos. This would leave him with seven berachos levatalah.

A True Commitment

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

In the vernacular of our sages and in our prayers, Pesach is titled, “Z’man chayrusaynu- Time of our freedom.” Although we did attain freedom at the time of our redemption from Egypt, titling the holiday as such doesn’t seem to encapsulate the root of the holiday’s greatness.

Egypt was the superpower of the ancient world from which no slave ever escaped. Yet the entire Jewish nation marched out of the country unhindered. Therefore the greatness of Pesach is that it is the time of our miraculous salvation and redemption. Freedom was indeed the desired outcome of the exodus, however, to say that Pesach is merely the “time of freedom” seems to omit the whole miracle of redemption, plagues and all.

Furthermore, Chazal state, “There is no truly free person other than one who immerses himself in Torah study” (Avos 6:2). If so, true freedom could only be attained on Shavuos, the anniversary of our receiving the Torah. If so, why is Pesach called “the time of freedom”?

In 1775, seventy soldiers of the Patriot army (known as the Minutemen) crossed paths with the six hundred or so British soldiers, who were en route to Concord, in Lexington (sixteen miles from Boston). To this day it is not known who fired first, but “the shot that was heard around the world” was fired, marking the commencement of America’s War of Independence.

On July 4th, 1776 the thirteen colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, which records the colonists’ rationalization and justification for proclaiming their independence from England. “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness… that to secure these rights Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed… that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

It wasn’t until 1781 however, when the British General, Lord Cornwallis, surrendered to Patriot General George Washington at the conclusion of the Battle of Yorktown, that American independence was truly achieved.

Any good American citizen knows that Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th, the anniversary of the completion of the Declaration of Independence. What is the logic behind that? It was the signing of the Declaration of Independence that actually placed the colonists in perilous danger. When the British were informed of the Declaration, they seethed with anger, deepening their enmity for the colonists. The Declaration placed the colonists in a situation of “no return.” Their only option now was to fight for their survival. Wouldn’t it be more logical for American independence to be commemorated on the anniversary of the victory at Yorktown? (Does anyone even know the anniversary of the victory at the Battle of Yorktown?)

The answer is that while the colonists did not attain true independence until the Battle of Yorktown, the Declaration of Independence was their proclamation of freedom. It heralded to the world that they were willing to fight for their cause. They had declared to pledge their lives and their sacred honor to the cause, even at the risk of death. Without that first step they could never have achieved ultimate independence. The Declaration was the groundwork and the root of their victory; therefore the independence that was achieved must be attributed to those initial daring efforts. Everything the United States claims to stand for was accomplished at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence[1].

The truth is had Klal Yisroel not have accepted the Torah on Har Sinai, the entire exodus would have been in vain. Klal Yisroel could not have real freedom as a nation until they received the Torah. Nevertheless, the exodus from Egypt demonstrated an unwavering emunah in Hashem. Klal Yisroel fearlessly followed Moshe out of Egypt into the vast, perilous, and dangerous desert. Who would feed their children? Who would take care of their medical needs? From where would they get clothing? These logical worries did not concern them because they placed their complete trust in Hashem. With the exodus Klal Yisroel subconsciously expressed unyielding belief in G-d. The culmination of their efforts was only realized on Shavuos but the initiation, i.e. Klal Yisroel’s “shot that was heard around the world,” was marching out of Egypt into the vicissitudes and unknown of the desert.

Pesach may not be the day when Klal Yisroel became free per se, but it is the “time of our freedom” because it marked the beginning of our spiritual ascension which resulted in our freedom. It is for this reason that on Pesach we begin to count the forty-nine day omer concluding with Shavuos.

Q & A: Birkat Sefirat HaOmer

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
QUESTION: What if one counted the Omer but forgot to utter the blessing – has the obligation been fulfilled? Why do we recite a blessing for this counting, when we find that for the zayin nekiyim – the seven clean days – there is no such blessing? Is the counting not similar?
M. Goldman
Miami Beach, FL
ANSWER: If one counted the Omer - but did not utter the blessing - he would indeed have fulfilled his obligation. The Gemara in the second perek of Berachot (15a) derives a similar conclusion in the case of a cheresh – one who speaks but does not hear – who is instructed not to separate the teruma since he will not hear his own blessing, a clear requirement we infer from the Mishna (supra).The Gemara responds that in this situation the mitzva will nevertheless be fulfilled, since the beracha is only rabbinical. The Rabbis did not make the fulfillment of the mitzva dependent on the beracha. Thus the rule in halacha is that ‘ein beracha me’akevet.’

Pnei Yehoshua (ad loc.) argues that even had the blessings been Biblical they would still not invalidate a mitzva that is performed without uttering the blessing. The only reason the Gemara states that the blessing is rabbinical is to give an additional reason, but in actuality biblically required blessings would also not invalidate the mitzva.

Regarding the mitzva of Sefirat HaOmer, the Mechaber states (Orach Chayyim 489:7) that if one forgot to bless [and obviously to count as well] all evening long, he is to count during the daytime [hours that follow] without a blessing.

This is so, even though, as the Mishna Berura (ad loc.) notes, there are many poskim who rule that the time to count is in the evening only; nevertheless this would not be considered an interruption of the counting continuity and one then goes on to count each evening with a blessing.

As for your second question, we had a similar query a number of years ago. That correspondent compared the Omer to the Jubilee Year. Because of your question’s timeliness, we will review that discussion.

The mitzva to count the Omer is incumbent upon all men (women are exempt since it is in the category of mitzvat aseh she’hazeman gerama, a positive precept dependent upon time). We are commanded in Parashat Emor (Vayikra 23:15), “U’sefartem lachem mi’mochorat hashabbat miyom havi’achem et omer hatenufa, sheva shabbatot temimot tih’yena – You shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath (i.e., the first day of Passover), from the day when you bring the omer of the wave offering, seven complete weeks shall there be.”

The Mechaber (R. Yosef Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch) states (Orach Chayyim 489:1) : … [I]t is incumbent (it is a mitzva) upon each and everyone to count by himself; he has to count while standing; he has to recite a blessing before the counting; and he has to count the days as well as the weeks.

The Taz adds that the counting of the Omer is different from the counting toward the Jubilee Year, which is stated in Parashat Behar (Vayikra 25:8), “Vesafarta lecha sheva shabtot shanim, sheva shanim sheva pe’amim … – You shall count [for yourself] seven cycles of sabbatical years, seven years seven times …” The counting of the Omer is also different from the counting of the days toward purification by a person who has become contaminated due to an impure discharge, as stated in Parashat Metzora (ibid. 15:13), “Vechi yit’har hazav mizovo vesafar lo shiv’at yamim letohorato … – When the person … is cleansed, he shall count seven days for his purification …” In these two cases the purpose of the counting is to attain the conclusion of a finite period of time, whereas in Sefirat HaOmer the act of counting itself is a mitzva, and therefore it requires a beracha.

The Magen Avraham notes that we derive that counting the Omer is an obligation incumbent upon each individual from the fact that is is stated, “U’sefartem lachem,” similar to the language used for the commandment to take the Four Species on Sukkot, “U’lekachtem lachem”  (Vayikra 23:40).

The Talmud (Menachot 65b) discusses the two verses in Parashat Emor that deal with the counting of the Omer: “You shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath … seven complete weeks shall there be” (Vayikra 23:15), and the verse immediately following (23:16), “Until the morrow of the seventh week shall you count fifty days …” The Gemara concludes that the first verse, using the phrase “seven complete weeks,” refers to the case when the first day of Passover happens to fall on a Sabbath, with the result that the weeks counted are seven full weeks, each starting on a Sunday; whereas the second verse indicates that the counting of the fifty days starts on the second day of Passover - “the morrow after the Sabbath,” meaning the morrow after the [first] day [of rest] of the Festival of Passover - no matter what day it falls on, and the Festival of Shavuot thus occurs when fifty days have been counted. This, indeed, is how we proceed with the counting of the Omer.

The Talmud (ibid.) also cites the pasuk in Parashat Re’eh (Devarim 16:9), “Shiv’a shavuot tispor lach, me’hachel chermesh bakama tachel lispor shiv’a shavuot - Seven weeks shall you count; from such time that the sickle is put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks.” The Gemara notes that this verse teaches us that the counting depends on [the decision of] the Beth Din. Rashi explains that the Beth Din determines when the holiday is to occur (depending on when the New Moon is seen and attested to before the Beth Din), and we must of necessity ask when Passover begins in order to be able to start counting the Omer on the morrow of the first day of Passover.

How do we arrive at the different interpretations and uses of these pesukim? The answer is to be found in the text itself. Whenever we find the term lachem, the plural form of “you,” the implication is an obligation incumbent upon every individual (and the requirement of a beracha). Whenever the word lach, the singular form of “you,” is used, this indicates that the Beth Din is involved. In the latter case there is thus no specific command of counting. This reasoning applies to counting for the Yovel (where lach is used), since it is the Beth Din’s function to designate the Jubilee Year. As regards the person who has an impure discharge (Vayikra 15:13), counting the days toward purification obviously cannot be the function of the Beth Din (although the singular pronoun lo – or lah  – is used) but must be the responsibility of the individual. However, Tosafot (loc. cit, s.v. U’sefartem) point out that since the entire process of counting toward purification can be overturned whenever one sees a fresh discharge, there is no possibility to recite a beracha.

On the other hand, the term lachem refers to the obligation incumbent upon each individual. The Magen Avraham (supra, op.cit.) therefore compares Sefirat HaOmer (U’sefartem lachem) to the mitzva of lulav and etrog on Sukkot, when we are commanded (Vayikra 23:40), “U’lekachtem lachem bayom harishon pri etz hadar … – You shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of a citron tree …” Each and every one has to fulfill this mitzva.

Q & A: Women Counting Sefirat Haomer

Wednesday, June 6th, 2001

QUESTION: In my wife’s family, women count Sefirat Haomer. This is something that I have not seen in my own family, although they are quite observant. As a newly married couple, we are quite confused.

Please discuss this matter and explain.
No name please
Toronto, Ontario
 
ANSWER: It is understood that the Torah was given to us so that we study it and learn therein to perform its many commands, which Hashem so commanded us.

In this regard, all Jews are equally responsible in their performance, albeit certain situations which obviate their performance, such as the case of a Yisroel being unable to perform any of the myriad mitzvot that are incumbent upon Kohanim in their service of Hashem.

We find as well ‘Mitzvot Hateluyot Ba’aretz’ – commands that are unique to those who dwell in Eretz Yisroel – shmittah, yovel, etc., which any Jew who lives there must perform, while a Jew who lives in ‘Chutz L’Aretz’ - in the Diaspora – is totally exempt in their performance.

We also find certain mitzvot that are gender restricted and relate to our question. The source for these restrictions and what circumstance causes these restrictions is found in Perek Haisha Niknit (Kiddushin 29a). The Mishnah states, ‘…And any positive precept that is performed in a timely manner, men are required to perform them and women are exempt from them. And any positive precept that is not performed in a timely manner, both men and women are required to perform them….’

The Gemara on the Mishnah discusses in detail the source for the Mishnah’s ruling and finds numerous possibilities - firstly that we compare all mitzvot to tefillin, which is in itself compared to Talmud Torah, of which the Pasuk in Parashat V’etchanan (Devarim 6:7) [which happens to be the first parasha of Kriat Shema] states, ‘VeShinantam L’[b]anecha,’ and you shall teach them to your sons. The Gemara goes into a long discussion and finds exceptions to the rule. The Gemara also gives us another source, ‘Reiah’ - the mitzvot of going up to Jerusalem three times a year, which the Torah in Parashat Mishpatim (Shemot 23:17) states, ‘Shalosh Pa’amim Bashanah Yeraeh Kol Zechurecha,’ three times in the year shall all your males be seen [in Jerusalem]. The Gemara in its discussion seeks out many other mitzvot, such as ‘Kibud av v’em,’ etc., to serve as our source for women’s requirement in those precepts that are not time related, and throughout the whole discussion uses a process of elimination. Our rule, though, is such that generally women are not required to perform any of these time related mitzvot, and men are.

Kol Bo Siman 73 quotes the Ba’al HaMelamed on Parashat Lech-Lecha in explaining the reason that the Torah freed women of this responsibility: Since the woman is the helpmate for the man [and she is the one in charge of the household], thus if she would be occupied with all timely mitzvot, her aid to him [lit. her work] would be left undone and this would be a source of friction between the couple.

It is pertinent to our discussion to delineate our attitude in regard to counting the omer: Is it indeed a timely precept’ It would seem to be such since it comes at a certain time in the year. Or is it likened to ‘matzah,’ which comes at a certain time in the year, yet women are nevertheless included in the obligation’ This (matzah requirement) is part of the Gemara’s discussion in Perek Haisha Niknit.

In researching this question I recalled having seen a similar discussion in the sefer ‘Orot HaPesach’ by Hagaon Horav Shlomo Wahrman, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of Nassau County. We will highlight some of his in-depth discussions found in siman 79.

Rav Wahrman quotes the Rambam Hilchot Temidin U’musafin 7:22-24: It is a positive precept – Mitzvat Asei – to count (Sefirat Haomer) seven full weeks from the day that the omer was first brought, as it says in Parashat Emor (Vayikra 23:15), ‘Usefartem Lachem Mimacharat Hashabbat Miyom Haviachem et Omer Hatenufah Sheva Shabbatot Temimot Tihiyena,’ and you shall count from the morrow of the Sabbath [i.e. Pesach] from the day you bring the omer of waving, seven complete weeks shall they be. It is a mitzvah to count days with weeks, as it says [in the next pasuk, 23:16], ‘Tisperu Chamishim Yom,’ you shall count 50 days…. We count from the beginning of the day, i.e., the night of the 16th of Nissan. If one forgot to count at night he counts by day, and one must count standing - but if one counted while sitting, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. This mitzvah is incumbent on all Jewish males in every place and at every time, and women and slaves are exempt from its performance.’

Kesef Mishnah explains that the exemption for women is due to this being a ‘Mitzvat Asei She’Hazeman Garma,’ a positive timeley precept. We find as well in the Chinuch in Mizvah 306 that Sefirat Haomer is a Biblical command observed by males.

The Ramban in his novella on Mesechet Kiddushin 34a states the following: ‘And as regards positive [Biblical] precepts that are not timely, many are yet left [such as] ‘morah,’ fear [of one's parents], ‘kavod,’ honor [of one's parents], ‘bikurim,’ first produce, ‘chalah,’ [which we take from the dough], ‘kisuy hadam,’ covering of the blood [of non-domesticated animals, i.e., 'chaya,' or of fowl, when they are slaughtered], ‘raishit hagez,’ the first shearing [of the sheep], ‘matanot,’ lit. the ‘presents’ one gives to Kohanim, Leviyim and the destitute, ‘Sefirat Haomer,’ lit. the counting of the omer, ‘prikah u’teinah,’ lit. ‘unloading and loading,’ i.e., helping one’s fellow with the loading and unloading of heavy parcels, etc.’

(To be continued)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/q-a-women-counting-sefirat-haomer/2001/06/06/

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