Signification of the couting of the Omer, the sfirat haomer*
Sixth day of the omer this evening!
A process of sanctification
Omer, עמר, means “sheaf” and it is also
ADONAI said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘After you enter
the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf, omer, עמר of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen. He is to wave the sheaf before ADONAI, so that you will
be accepted; the cohen is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat. On the day that you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a
male lamb without defect, in its first year, as a burnt offering for ADONAI. Its grain offering is to be one gallon of fine
flour mixed with olive oil, an offering made by fire to ADONAI as a fragrant aroma; its drink offering is to be of wine, one
quart. You are not to eat bread, dried grain or fresh grain until the day you bring the offering
for your God; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live. “‘From the
day after the day of rest–– that is, from the day you bring the sheaf, omer עמר for waving–– you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count
fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to ADONAI. You must bring bread from your homes for waving––
two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven–– as firstfruits for ADONAI. Leviticus
On the second day of Pesach, called a Shabbat, the counting of the seven weeks begins and
an omer, a sheaf of the first fruits has to be brought: this sheaf or omer is the image of the Resurrection:
the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died. 1 Corinthians 15:20
sheaf offering was of barley; the next offering which had to be brought at the end of the seven weeks was that of wheat:
This is a symbol of EVOLUTION AND MATURITY
Barley, which is a cereal, is harvested earlier than
wheat and is less evolved than it; this new grain symbolizes the result of a spiritual maturity obtained through the process
These seven weeks then, correspond to seven weeks of purification. As the counting ascends, we too are climbing up.
to Tradition, the Israelites descended downwards to the 49th level of impurity while they
were in Egypt, a source of idolatry. They were not ready to receive the gift of the Torah
and needed purification; this is what the counting of the omer teaches us.
The Exodus is mentioned fifty times in the Torah and
corresponds to the fifty levels of sanctification required to receive the Torah on the fiftieth day.
These 49 days or steps are passed through and the ascension
to the throne of sanctity is suggested to us by the dream Yaakov had as he was fleeing from his brother Esav.
He saw a ladder going up to heaven and G-d inviting him to go up step by step (Gen 28:12).
It is when we are in
Yeshua and through the work of His Spirit that we are given the ability to pass though these steps of sanctification:
Natan’el said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of
God! You are the King of Isra’el!”
Yeshua answered him, “you believe all this just
because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than that!”
Then he said to him, “Yes indeed! I tell you that
you will see heaven opened and the angels of God going up and coming down (*) on the Son of Man! John 1:49-52
At the end of this counting, comes the Feast of Shavuot
(which means the Feast of the Weeks), and also the receiving of the Torah and the Day of Pentecost when the disciples received the gift of the Ruach Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit, who engraved the Torah on their hearts!
These seven weeks also
represents the spiritual progress that leads
us to bear the fruits of the Ruach Hakodesh, meant to transform
our old man into mature disciples, filled with wisdom in His image:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control. Nothing in the Torah stands against
such things. Galatians 5:22 -23
The seven weeks are mentioned in the counting of the seven years to reach the Shmitah, the rest
year. Then at the end of the seven year cycle comes the fiftieth called the Yovel,
Jubilee. This final year is calling everyone to freedom.
Pesach sets us free
but doesn’t yet mature us; we must first be educated and restored in our thinking to become a holy people, who are beyond
the drinking of milk and are ready to eat meat, as G-d requires.
the “Ethics of the Fathers” we find a mishna that teaches us that Torah can be obtained through forty eight ways:
Torah is greater than priesthood and kingship. For kingship can
be obtained through thirty ways of perfection and priesthood with twenty ways but it requires forty eight for the Torah:
- Through study:
the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you, as you teach and counsel each other in all wisdom, and as you sing
psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude to God in your hearts. Colossians 3:16
Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the
Word says, but do it! James 1:22
- Good disposal of the saying of our lips:
open my lips; then my mouth will praise you.Psalms 51:15
- Through discernment of the heart:
But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained
by continuous exercise to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14
Let’s also mention patience, trust in the Word, the love of our neighbor,
offerings, the love of correction, banishing pride, sharing the burdens, studying in order to teach, etc.
seven weeks of counting symbolically brings us through the steps of sanctification, to resemble the One Who is the living
Bread. These different steps are mirrored by the steps and tests that the children of
through while coming out of Egypt.
G-d calls us to perfection and we will find the way in Him, step by step:
It is not that I have already obtained it or already reached the goal – no,
I keep pursuing it in the hope of taking hold of that for which the Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers, I, for my part,
do not think of myself as having yet gotten hold of it; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining forward
toward what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal in order to win the prize offered by God’s upward calling in the Messiah
Yeshua. Philippians 3:12-14
The free gift, grace; G-d intervenes without Moshe for the last plague which will finally set the Sons
of Israel free.
The seven weeks of the
time under the number seven, that of perfection: 49 days to “work at our salvation” and sanctification.
On the fiftieth day is the Jubilee: the glorious freedom of the children of G-d:
Torah is engraved on the hearts and will produce men and women at the full stature of the Messiah!
May we be transformed from
glory to glory to become the pure and spotless Bride He expects!