Counting the Days

We are in the midst of an exciting time right now. We are counting; that’s right, counting. We have been counting the days since the second night of Passover, and we will continue until the holiday of Shavuot. Many of you will ask why we are counting the days. This time of year is known as “Counting the Omer.” An omer is a measurement of grain which was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering. The counting is intended to remind us of the connection between Passover, which celebrates our Exodus from Egypt, and Shavuot, which celebrates our receiving the Torah. The counting of the 49 days reminds us that the redemption from slavery was not complete until we received the Torah.
This period in our lives is also a mourning period because we commemorate a plague that broke out during the days of Rabbi Akiba where many of his student passed away, therefore, there are no haircuts; many refrain from music as entertainment; and no simchas until Lag B’Omer which is a mini-holiday. On that day, many run to barber shops, get married, have barbecues, listen to music, and more.
In my Chabad school during the Omer period music education is a little more challenging since we are not playing snstruments. I decided to teach the chidlren how to read music. So far we have covered pitch, the staff, the cleffs, and started note recognition. I took in my tuning forks to demonstrate how they work and why I use them. The kids got a real kick out of them. Most of the studnts are genuinely interested. The childrren who know how to read music feel good answering many of the questions and those stueents also learning at least one thing new upon leaving class.
There are other reasons to count this time of year. Many teachers are counting til’ the end of school; many students are counting til’ the end of school! Many students are counting the days til’ camp begins. There are so many other reasons to be counting days.
I am counting the days for many reasons this year, personal as well as personal. The former personal meaning domestic personal, the latter personal, meaning is that we were given the Torah. These were and still are days of great anticipation. We had and still have so much to learn in how to be a Jewish Community and a Jewish Nation. Without receiving the Torah, it would have been impossible and still is impossible to fully come together. We can receive the Torah everyday which strengthens each of us, therefore, strengthening us as a whole.
Let’s keep RECEIVING!

About cantorrisa

I am a Cantor, Judaic Studies, and music teacher. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and help people from young to old love being Jewish. I teach and sing in several synagogues and schools in the area. I officiate all life cycle events and teach students, children and adults, privately for their b'nai mitzvah ceremonies. I also enjoy studying Bible with all faiths either individually or in small groups (chevruta). I conduct Shabbat and High Holiday Services at K'hilat Bayt Shira and Senior Communities in the area. In my spare time, I teach key board and guitar. I am married to a wonderful man, have two children and six grandchildren. My hobbies are writing, playing and listening to music, learning, reading, crocheting and knitting.
This entry was posted in All In A Day, B'nai Mitzvah, Holidays, Music, synagogue, Teaching, Teaching music. Bookmark the permalink.

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