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The Tabernacle Times
_____ April 2013 ____________________ Nissan - Iyyar 5773 ____________________ Volume 8 Issue 4 _____

Why Do Not Christians
Count the Omer?

Rabbi & Brenda

By Rabbi Jeremy & Brenda Storch

You shall count for yourselves -- from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving -- seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days. -Leviticus 23:15-16

You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu'ot for the LORD, your God. -Deuteronomy 16:9-10

While mainstream Judaism teaches for the most part that the "counting of the omer" begins on Passover, I believe it is more accurate scripturally (see above) the counting of the omer begins on the day of Firstfruits (Heb. "Bikkurim") which is the day after the Sabbath during the week of Passover.  Thus the counting of the omer (Heb. "S'ferat Ha Omer") is a 50 day period between the Feast of Firstfruits and Shavout (Feast of Weeks) which is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah.
The meaning of the Torah for observant Jewish people goes well beyond what the Bible typically means to the Evangelical Church (which is not to say that the church doesn't highly regard the Bible). It's not "just" considered the Word of God. Jews consider the Torah as having a spiritual and mystical "life" beyond the printed word. In a sense, they believe that the world was created for the sake of Torah and that if the Jews had rejected Torah at Sinai, all of Creation would have been undone. Torah is also considered the means by which God created the Universe and everything in it. Torah is the guide to Holy living, the path to wisdom, and the means to draw nearer to God. Torah scholars are considered on a higher spiritual level and closer to the Creator because of their study, and Torah study and worship of God are considered the same thing.

I'm providing this context to communicate the incredible importance that the giving of the Torah has to the Jewish people.
            (Continued on Page 2)

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