- Counting of the Omer tonight (Iyyar 08, April 22nd) – Sefirat HaOmer
- Counting of the Omer and the 49 Meshalim of Messiah
- Blessed are you that your eyes see and your ears hear
- The Manna is connected to Chag HaMatzot and Yom HaBikkurim
- The day that the symbolic Manna ceased was Nisan 16
- Measuring our lives by the true Manna from Heaven
- Counting of the Omer and the 49 Meshalim of Messiah (Jewish Calendar)
- Shalom be upon you! Shalom Aleichem
- The Blessing of Avinu Shebashamayim
- Festival dates, worship forms, and scholarly studies
- By all means speak the Truth in Love
Counting of the Omer tonight (Iyyar 08, April 22nd) – Sefirat HaOmer:
1. *Tonight after nightfall is “Day #23” in the forty-nine day countdown to Shavuot.
*The Omer is counted every evening after nightfall, from the second night of Passover until the night before Shavuot. The Jewish day starts at nightfall and continues throughout the night and the following day – until the next night. This is based on the first verses in the story of creation where it says: “And it was evening and it was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).
2. Today is Twenty-three days in the Omer.
Today is twenty-two days which are three weeks and one day in the Omer.
היום שניים ועשרים יום, שהם שלושה שבועות ויום אחד בעומר. פ
Haiyom shnayim v’esrim yom, shehaym shloshah shavuot veyom echad ba’omer.
“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). “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 Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy 16:9).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
Counting of the Omer and the 49 Meshalim of Messiah:
Counting of the Omer began – the evening of Saturday, March 31, 2018 and ends in the evening of Saturday, May 19.
A Sefirat HaOmer 2018 calendar is provided in the table below that includes the Jewish Calendar dates (Nisan 16, 5778 – Sivan 5, 5778) for Counting of the Omer and studying the *forty-nine meshalim (parables) of the Messiah. The corresponding secular dates for “Counting the Omer and the Forty-nine parables of Messiah” are found at the very bottom of the page (left hand corner – under “Study Tools”).
Counting of the Omer (Hebrew: ספירת העומר, Sefirat HaOmer, sometimes abbreviated as Sefira or the Omer) is an important verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Pesach (חג הפסח-Passover) and Shavuot (חג השבועות-Feast of Weeks, Pentecost):
Shavuot 2018 will begin in the evening of Saturday , May 19 (Sivan 6) and ends in the evening of Monday, May 21 (Sivan 7).
The 49 meshalim (משלים, משלי-parables; מָשָׁל-parable, allegory, proverb) of the Messiah that we will be reflecting upon this year during the 49 days of Counting the Omer are presented in their proper chronological order as we believe they were actually taught by the Messiah.
Blessed are you that your eyes see and your ears hear:
נגשו התלמידים ושאלו: מדוע אתה מדבר אליהם במשלים? השיב ואמר: מפני שלכם נתן לדעת את סודות מלכות השמים, אך להם לא נתן. כי מי שיש לו נתון ינתן לו ושפע יהיה לו, אך מי שאין לו, גם מה שיש לו ילקח ממנו. לכן במשלים אני מדבר אליהם, כי בראותם אינם רואים ובשמעם אינם שומעים אף אינם מבינים. ומתקימת בהם נבואת ישעיהו לאמר: שמעו שמוע ואל-תבינו וראו ראו ואל-תדעו. השמן לב-העם הזה ואזניו הכבד ועיניו השע, פן-יראה בעיניו ובאזניו ישמע ולבבו יבין, ושב ורפא לו. אשרי עיניכם הרואות ואזניכם השומעות. אמן. אומר אני לכם, נביאים וצדיקים רבים נכספו לראות את אשר אתם רואים ולא ראו, ולשמע את אשר אתם שומעים ולא שמעו.פ
The talmidim came and asked, “Why do you speak to them in meshalim?” He answered and said: “Because to you it is given to know the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. For to one who has, it will surely be given, and he will have abundance; but for one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken from him. That is why I speak to them in meshalim. For in their seeing they will not see, and in their hearing they will not hear, nor do they even understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Yeshayah (Isaiah):
“Listen well, but you will not understand. Look closely, but you will not know. Fatten the heart of this nation (Israel), and make its ears heavy and seal its eyes, so it will not see with its eyes or hear with its ears or understand with its heart or repent and be healed.”
“Blessed (אשרי-ashrei, happy) are you that your eyes see and your ears hear. For I say to you, many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see and did not see, and to hear what you hear and have not heard. “
The Manna is prophetically connected to Chag HaMatzot and Yom HaBikkurim:
“On the day after the Passover (Nisan 15/16), on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day after (Nisan 16/17) they had eaten some of the produce of the land (Yom HaBikkurim, Day of the Firstfruits), so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna.” (Joshua 5:11-12)
Immediately, the day after the unleavened bread was consumed in eretz Israel the symbolic manna ceased. This is a picture of our appetite for the things of HaShem. Once the Bread of Affliction was consumed in the promised land then it was for us as if the Food of our Healing had occurred. Our insides were changed, our cleansed appetites were changed, we became hungry and thirsty for righteousness, and so we were filled (שָׂבַע-satisfied). Thereafter, we did not need the symbolic manna on the day of *Nisan 16/17 because we had already received the real (true) Bread of Heaven instead.
Let us begin to try to explain this connection in more detail by asking and answering the Pesach question:
What is The Bread of our Affliction and the Bread of our Healing?
In the Torah matzah is sometimes called the “Bread of Affliction” (Deuteronomy 16:3). However, it is not “of affliction” because it is unleavened but it is unleavened because it had been born out of affliction. In other words, since our ancestors (the children of Israel) had no time to prepare their bread on account of their affliction the bread had no time to rise.
The matzah then is not so much the remembrance of bondage as it is the remembrance of deliverance from bondage.
Matzah is called the Bread of Affliction but it is also called the Food of Healing. First comes the Food of Faith (believe). Then comes the Food of (our) Healing (then be healed). What is it that is both a Bread of Affliction and the Food of our Healing? It is only the bread of the affliction (lit. of poverty) of Messiah that is food for our healing.
This means that in our present state of affliction we are powerless to affect the perfect righteousness that Adonai desires to reside in all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. However, the Bread of Messiah’s Affliction is sufficiently powerful to permanently cleanse us and effect perfect healing for our souls. Therefore, when we eat this bread we profess the power of Messiah’s Bread of Affliction (sacrificial death) that is sufficient to (save) heal our souls, until He comes again to heal our bodies as well.
Messiah is not only the Bread out of Heaven that is associated with the symbol of Manna but He is also the Bread of Affliction that is the Bread of our Healing. According to the prophetic narrative of Joshua 5:11-12, when we receive by emunah (faith) the real Bread of our Healing (on Nisan 14-15) then it is as if we received the real Bread of Heaven as well (on Nisan 16). This means that the Person of the Messiah is the One sent to us from HaShem to be our:
Bread from Heaven (הלחם מן השמים);
Bread of Affliction/Poverty (לחם עוני);
Bread of G-d (לחם האלוהים);
Bread of Life (לחם החיים).
The day that the symbolic Manna ceased was Nisan 16:
The day that the symbolic manna ceased to be was Nisan 16. This is also the day of HaBikkurim when we begin our Counting of the Omer. In Temple times during the gathering of the firstfruits of the barley harvest a sheaf of barley was waved before HaShem.
The word sheaf in Hebrew is “omer;” this term simply means a dry measure equal to about five pints.
The term firstfruits is derived from the Hebrew word “re’shiyth.” This special word means “the first of its kind.” The omer is a dry measure that is equal to the amount of manna that was allocated as a daily portion of food while the people of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land. The word “manna” comes from the interrogative pronoun “mah” that means what, of what kind. Therefore the meaning of the word manna is:
“What is this?”
An Omer contains a portion equal to the manna that was assigned to each individual for his daily allotment of food while Israel was transiting from the wilderness to the Promised Land. The answer to the riddle of “What is this?” is:
“Who is This?”
Messiah is the answer to the mystery. Messiah is the Mystery (Who is This?). All of the mysteries of the kingdom of Adonai are revealed through our exercising true faith in him. Avinu Shebashamayim measures all of our lives by the Measure (Omer) of Messiah.
Messiah is the Omer. He is the “full measure and stature” of perfection that HaShem desires all of us to be like.
The Mashiach is HaAdam HaAcharon (אדם האחרון-the Last Adam). He is the first of his kind. He is the perfect man (Adam). He is the man that Adonai Avinu desires all of us to be like (1, 2). Therefore, it is the will of G-d our Father that we all together shall grow up to the full measure (אל השיעור המלא) and stature of the Messiah (אל הקומתו המלא של המשיח); whose perfect life is the blessed means by which Abba Avinu shall one day perfect us all!
Measuring our lives by the true Bread out of Heaven:
Question: How do we daily measure our lives by the life of the Messiah?
Answer: We accurately measure the content of our lives by conforming ourselves to the teaching of the Messiah.
What way could we better count the 49-days than to examine ourselves by the 49-meshalim (parables) of Messiah? What better way could we count the seven weeks that prepared our Jewish ancestors for receiving the gift of the Father, His Living Torah (the Indwelling Presence of His Spirit), than to meditate on the teachings of M’shicho (His Messiah). Regarding this matter keep in mind four points:
Point #1. The truth that precedes all other truths, the key (singular) mystery (סוד-sod) of the kingdom of G-d (מלכות האלהים) that precedes our receiving the keys (plural) that unlock all of the secrets (סודות-sodot) of the kingdom of heaven (מלכות השמים) is that M’shicho (His Messiah) is the true “Manna from Heaven!”
Point #2. The Omer is a derivative measurement of the volume of a one day portion of manna. Therefore, the Omer derives its (spiritual messianic) meaning and purpose from the Torah meaning of the Manna.
Point #4. Therefore, from a literal point of view, when we retrace our journey out of Egypt to Mount Sinai (Israel and the Commonwealth of Israel) we are daily measuring the contents of our own inner-life by the “measure of the manna.” Since Messiah is the Manna from Heaven it only makes sense that we would be reading and meditating on His teaching during this very special time of the year.
Counting of the Omer and the 49 Meshalim of the Messiah (Jewish Calendar):
Shalom be upon you! Shalom Aleichem:
Shalom aleichem (שלום עליכם) is a spoken greeting in Hebrew, meaning “peace be upon you.”
The appropriate response is aleichem shalom – עליכם שלום – “unto you peace.” G-d is the G-d of Peace (אלוהי השלום). So the one who is asking says “shalom unto you.” Peace is mentioned first, because the first person knows that he wants the peace – the blessedness of the actual Presence of G-d – and is asking the other person to agree. The person who responds says “unto you (plural) peace,” for Elohei Ha-Shalom is the One who actually creates peace and unity in the plural— between Himself and the two persons.
This *web-site is dedicated to the study of the Twelve Festivals of Messiah. There are Twelve Festivals of Messiah that we will be studying this Jewish calendar year 5778 (sunset September 20, 2017 to nightfall Sunday, September 9, 2018). We go off in a lot of directions but we always return to the same task, the study of the festivals; and that is pretty much all we are trying to do for now.
The Berakah of Avinu Shebashamayim:
ברוך אבינו שבשמים, אשר ברך אותנו בכל ברכה רוחנית בשמים [בהמשיח], כשם שבחר אותנו בו בטרם הוסד תבל, להיות קדושים ובלי דופי לפניו באהבה.פ
“Blessed be Avinu Shebashamayim (our heavenly Father), who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven [in the Messiah], just as He chose us before the world was established, to be holy and without blemish before Him with love.”
והמשכלים יזהרו כזוהר הרקיע ומצדיקי הרבים ככוכבים לעולם ועד׃
“And the wise shall shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
אז יזהירו הצדיקים כשמש בממלכת אביהם. מי שאזנים לו, שישמע!פ
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father!”
The Blessing of our heavenly Father:
We learn from the prophet Zephaniah (3:17 צפניה) that the source of this beautiful blessing is Avinu Shebashamayim (our heavenly Father). It is not the blessing of the high priest that we receive here. The high priest (אהרון-Aaron: the Light-bringer) is imparting to us the blessing of G-d our Father.
First He stoops down beneath us (His children) and then He lifts us up. He lifts us up so that our face will directly face His smiling Face that shines brighter in its glory than the sun. Then He manifests His glorious Name upon us. Our heavenly Father is directly imparting to us His own loving Presence, character, and virtue. This Abba Avinu does by singing over us His own personal blessing:
יברכך ה’ וישמרך׃
Yevarechecha Adonai ve’yishmerecha.
Adonai bless and keep you, place a hedge around you, and keep you safe.
יאר ה’ פניו אליך ויחנך׃
Ya’er Adonai panaiv elecha vi’chuneka.
The Face of Adonai shine on you and illuminate you [that your face will shine as bright as the sun].
ישא ה’ פניו אליך וישם לך שלום׃
Yissa Adonai panaiv elecha ve’yasem lecha shalom.
Adonai lift you up to [face] His Face and give to you [the] Shalom [of His Presence]. Amen.
Festival dates, worship forms, and scholarly studies:
We are (messianic) Jews. So we are interested in reading other Jewish views and perspectives related to the practice of our faith in HaShem (Adonai Elohei Tseva’ot). This is why we recommend you visit the Chabad.org and Hebcal.com sites (cf. bottom of page; recommended study links). We recommend you visit these sites so you can get acquainted with some of the worship forms and scholarly studies of the larger Jewish body.
By all means speak the Truth in Love:
You will find that we disagree a considerable amount with much of the teaching of our ultra-orthodox rabbis, however, please do not mistake our disagreements for a lack of love. We believe that with emet (האמת-the truth) there must also be present chesed (חסד-loving-kindness). Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz (late Chief Rabbi of England) wisely has said, whenever chesed (loving-kindness) and emet (relational truth, reliability) are used together chesed (covenantal love) always comes first, as if to say:
“Speak the truth by all means; but be quite sure you speak the truth in love.”
This saying of Rabbi Hertz is very similar to what Rabbi Shaul Ben Benyamin says in his writing about the kind of attitude one should maintain when one presents a difficult truth to another:
אלא נדבר את האמת באהבה ונגדל בכל דבר אלי המשיח, אשר הוא הראש.פ
But speaking the truth (האמת-ha-emet) in love (אהבה-ahavah, deeply affectionate love), we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head (הָרֹאשׁ-Ha-Rosh), even the Messiah (המשיח-Ha-Mashiach).
We will attempt to do the same. We will speak the truth (emet). Yet we will do so in an attitude of love (ahavah and chesed); recognizing all the while the great love Avinu Shebashamayim (our Father in heaven) possesses for all the children of Israel and for all the people of the world.
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