I’m including some material from Aish HaTorah, an excellent Orthodox website, below. In addition to my very brief introduction, I’m including their content for the first and second days of the Counting of the Omer, since I got a late start on this. As I wrote yesterday, since the Torah connects Passover/Unleavened Bread/First Fruits with Shavuot (Leviticus 23:5-22) the Sages added more value to the 49-day counting.
Each week of the 7-week counting focuses on one of the seven emotions that make us human and on each day of that particular week that emotion is explored. Because I’m a Messianic Jewish rabbi, I am adding some thoughts from the Besorah (Gospels) and Brit Hadashah (New Covenant) that Aish obviously can’t do. As we pray for the guidance of God’s Ruach, may we all be changed for the better during the 49-day Counting of the Omer, looking forward to Shavuot (Pentecost) after we complete the 49-day counting.
Week 1—Chesed (Loving–kindness)
Day 1 ― Chesed of Chesed: Loving-kindness in Loving-kindness
Love is the single most powerful and necessary component in life. It is both giving and receiving. Love allows us to reach above and beyond ourselves, to experience another person and to allow that person to experience us. It is the tool by which we learn to experience the highest reality ― God. Examine the love aspect of your love.
Ask yourself: What is my capacity to love another person? Do I have problems with giving? Am I stingy or selfish? Is it difficult for me to let someone else into my life? Am I afraid of my vulnerability, of opening up and getting hurt?
My comment: We know from our reading of Yochanan’s (John’s) first letter (4:8), Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. From this, I would say that if we don’t know love, we need to connect more with the source of all love, God.
Exercise for the day: Find a new way to express your love to a loved one.