Counting the Omer: Deeds of Lovingkindness

“The Torah begins with deeds of lovingkindness and ends with deeds of lovingkindness” (BT Sotah 14a).

The renowned and beloved singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman, of blessed memory, observed that it tends to be easy for us human beings to be loving with babies and old people.  The challenge is to off that kind of easy affection toward everyone. (Thank you to Rabbi Amy Eilberg for sharing this teaching in her book: From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace).

As we count the Omer today, can you think of a recent time when you found it difficult to offer someone lovingkindness?

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 shenayim ushiloshim yom, shehem arbah-ah shavuot v’arba-ah yamim la-omer.

Today is 32 days which are 4 weeks and 4 days of the Omer.