Counting the Omer: My Cup Overflows

Gevurah sh’b netzach – strength within endurance – my cup overflows- (Psalm 23:5).  With discipline, right intention, and compassion, I may dwell the divine and share/spread the abundance. (Thank you to our congregant Elise Luce Kraemer for sharing your inspirational Omer art!). In what way does your cup overflow this...

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Counting the Omer: Faith in Animation

What is faith to you? Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha’omer.  Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with sacred actions and enjoins us to count the omer. Hayom arba-ah v’esrim yom, shehem shloshah shavuot ushloshah yamim la-omer. Today is...

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Counting the Omer: Yom Hazikaron

On this daily count of the Omer, as Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) begins, we honor the memories of Israel’s fallen soldiers. Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha’omer.  Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with...

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Counting the Omer: Wake Up to Your Life

Where is this world do you find beauty? For this week of focus on beauty, we celebrate the work of our congregant, Elise Kraemer, who is creating art for her counting of the Omer. Focusing on Chesed sh’b Tiferet – love within beauty – Elise includes the text: “wake up to your...

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Counting the Omer: Darkness to Light

These words from Rabbi Kuhn shine a light on the striving we do during the omer and every day, to bring our characters to the next level of goodness:   One of the most beautiful ideas of Judaism is that we should strive to improve ourselves every day.  This is...

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Counting the Omer: Counting Our Blessings

Last week, I had the privilege of having lunch with 2 different past presidents of our congregation, one on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and the other one younger than that.  But each one told me the same thing.  They each said they feel so blessed to have had such...

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Counting the Omer: Courage Over Fear

We all feel fear.  The question is, do we act on it?  When, in their escape from slavery, the Israelites are stuck between the Sea of Reeds before them and the Egyptian chariots behind them, what’s Moses’ message?  Don’t be afraid. Rabbi Alan Lew, of blessed memory, notes that perhaps the Israelites...

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Counting the Omer: From Self to Soul

For our 9th day of counting the omer, and our week focused on givurah, “strength,” we turn to the inspiring words that Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell delivered this Shabbat, when we marked her retirement from the Union for Reform Judaism. “From Self to Soul: Passover, Passages, Passing through, and Counting” We...

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Counting the Omer: What’s Left is Love

A story is told of a rabbi who lay on his deathbed, smiling.  “Why” his students asked, “just moments away from death, are you smiling?” “Because,” the rabbi replied, “For the first time, I understand the words of Vahavta: You shall love the Eternal with all your heart, all your...

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Counting the Omer: Destiny and Free Will

When we consider the meaning of our actions and of our days, many wonder: Destiny or free will?  Judaism says both! A story is told about Rabbi Akiva’s daughter.  When she was born, astrologers told Rabbi Akiva that on her wedding day, she would be killed by a poisonous snake and die. ...

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