Only 38 more days!
Today we’ll return to the theme of the Omer with words from Or Chadash, Reuven Hammer’s excellent commentary on the Conservative sidur, Sim Shalom. Hammer says,
During later times,… perhaps as late as the end of the first millennium, it became common to view the period of counting the Omer as a time of mourning, commemorating various calamities in our history, starting with the Roman period.
Hammer then gives us a quote from David M. Feldman:
For us, then, the [Omer] period has great meaning and validity. A space-time set aside from cumulative commemoration of national tragedy—at the hands of the Romans, the Crusaders, the Cossacks—it has high national and spiritual significance… For a gesture of commemoration, an act of respect offered, is spiritual. Commemorative mourning observances are spiritual because they give significance to all of life by respecting life, a gesture of reverence for the memory of martyrs.