September 21, 2019 •
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Lag B’Omer [33rd day of the Omer]

Counting. Judaism teaches us to count our blessings. The Talmud says that we should actually recite 100 blessings a day. From thanking God when we open our eyes to giving thanks for the food we eat, there are opportunities to express our thanks throughout the day. Moreover, a gratitude practice is powerful.

This time period between Pesach and Shavuot is a period of counting 49 days from one holiday to the next. It is traditional to count the omer. An omer was an ancient Hebrew measure of grain and the Biblical law forbade use of the new barley grain until an omer had been offered at the Temple in Jerusalem. All three Festivals, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot (in the Fall) have agricultural, historical and spiritual aspects.

As we have been moving from the holiday of Freedom (Pesach) to the holiday of Responsibility/Revelation of the Torah(Shavuot), I have been counting my blessings and noticing not only each day, but the past decade.

Ten years ago I entered my personal decade of mother of the Bar Mitzvah as each of David and my four sons was called to the Torah in the past ten years (most recently in February).  I remember remarking on my 40th birthday that I was entering the decade of the Bar Mitzvah and though it doesn’t feel like if flew by, it’s amazing to see my youngest son already towering over me (okay, I am not tall) while remembering him cuddling his blanket at his oldest brother’s Bar Mitzvah. As I entered a new decade this week (welcome to the 50s!), I prepared to enter a decade that will include many graduations with my oldest son graduating college this week.

Ezra is moving between freedom and responsibility. He is now going to be free of schoolwork and tests. But he will take on the responsibility of being an independent adult. Or he could see it as being done with the responsibility of being a student in a formal sense and being free to explore his future wherever it may lead.

As for me, his mom, I have so much to be thankful for and am going to revel in the moments of this new decade, this new milestone and continue to count up in blessings. Thank you God for this new day, this new year, this new decade.

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