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    Counting every blessing – Emor

    EtzChayimOmerCounterA central feature of this week’s reading is the command to bring an omer, a measure of barley, to the sanctuary, beginning on the second day of Pesach. From that moment we have to count 49 days until the festival of Shavu’ot.

    Maimonides tells us that the Counting of the Omer is the lead-up to Shavu’ot in the sense that we generally count the days until the arrival of a welcome guest.

    The Sefer HaChinuch adds that counting the days expresses our constant thankfulness to God for the good harvests we enjoy, not just literally in terms of barley and wheat, but figuratively in the sense of all the blessings the Creator bestows upon us.

    Every day brings its blessing, as does every week, every month, every year. But that isn’t the end of the discussion. Not only do we thank God for the blessing each day brings: we also thank Him for the simple fact that every day is itself a blessing.

    We learn this with added poignancy the older we get. The child is excited about what the new day will bring; the older adult is grateful to be granted one more lease of life.

    Our gratitude to God for every day has an extra responsibility – to find a fresh blessing to bring each day to the wellbeing of the world.

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