Today is the 19h day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the fifth day of Passover. Passover lasts for seven days for Reform Jews, eight for all others.
Yesterday was the third day of the omer. An omer is a measurement of barley. Like most Jewish holidays, this period of the Jewish year has both agricultural and historical ties.
At this time of year, our ancestors waited nervously for their first grain crop to ripen. Would the rains come -- not too much, not too little -- at the right time? Would it be a year of bounty, or a year of hunger? We begin counting on the second night of Pesach, and count a week of weeks, 7 x 7 = 49 days, until we arrive at the Festival of Shavuot. Having left Egyptian slavery, we count our way, consciously, intentionally, one day at a time, until we reach Mt. Sinai and receive the Torah. Passover is our festival of Liberation; Shavuot is our Festival of Revelation.
Shabbat this week begins at 6:15 pm.
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