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Omer of Manna

"Torah can only be acquired by those who ate the Mun (Manna from heaven)." ~ Our Sages from the Midrash

From the second day of Passover through the day before the holiday of Shavuot the Jewish people are currently involved in what is called 'The Count of the Omer.' (For more info and a chart outlining this count click here.) This week's Torah portion contains the basis for this count. 

This count is inherently tied to the command to take the first portion of the spring barley crop to the Holy Temple. The unusual aspect of this count/offering is . . . its name. Offerings given in the Temple are usually titled based on the type of offering (i.e. a thanksgiving offering, a sin offering, the Passover offering, etc). This offering is called an Omer offering. "Omer" does not mean grain, it does not mean barley, it means . . . the "volume amount" of grain one is required to offer (approx the amount of 43 eggs). How anticlimactic!   

However, the Torah seems to be giving us another message with this name. Where else have we seen "Omer" used as a volume measurement in the Torah? With the "Manna/Mun". In the Desert, the 'omer' was the amount we would collect as our daily portion each day and 2x on Friday in preparation for Shabbos. Hashem is now preparing us to enter the land of Israel, where we will not be gathering Manna from Heaven but we will sow and reap crops with our own hands. To remind us that when we are reaping with our own hands, all of our sustenance is still coming DIRECTLY from Hashem, we are given a command to bring the first of our crop to thank Hashem and what is its name . . . the Omer (just like the Manna). 

"Hashem spoke to Moses saying, speak to the children of Israel and say to them, 'When you shall enter the Land of Israel that I give to you and your reap its harvest, you shall bring an Omer of the first of your harvest to the Kohein (priest).'" Leviticus 23:9-10

*Based on the writing of Rabbi Immanuel Bernstein,


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