By Rabbi Mark Melamut
Parshat Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23) – Counting our Blessings
In the midst of hardship, tragedy and the unknown, it can be difficult to remember to count our blessings. Jewish tradition understands that life can be not only difficult, but very busy, and it can be busy enough to prevent us from even stopping just for a moment to count. We read this week of the torah’s “sticky note,” as it anticipates the challenge of slowing down. We are reminded to stop and count, “you shall count seven complete weeks after you bring the omer/the barley offering.” (23:15) Hence, this period of time is referred to as the “Counting of the Omer.”
Each year I do my best to remember to count each day, 49 days from Passover to Shavuot, and inevitably I miss a day here and there. How hard could it be to just stop for a moment and remember to count the day every day? Really? How easy it is for us to go through the motions of our precious time and days, even succeeding in most of what we do, but without just stopping for a moment to count our blessings.
As we arrive this weekend at the 33rd day of the Omer, Lag B’omer, or as B’nai Emunah reinterprets it, “Lag(er) B’omer” (complete with an Open House BBQ and lager of course), I wonder:
- How can we cultivate the habit of stopping just for a moment to count our blessings each day?
- What blessings are we counting right now?
- How can we best express our gratitude for these blessings?
Rabbi Mark Melamut
From our series: A Bissel to Nibble
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.” “Give me a bissel lox on my bagel, would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less. (www.bubbygram.com)
Served each Friday afternoon, noonish.