|About the Book|
This is the second edition of Shifrah Tobacmans unique and inspirational poetic meditations for counting the Omer or turning toward a new year. These poems will open your heart and spirit! ABOUT OMER/TESHUVAH This book invites us to breathe the airMoreThis is the second edition of Shifrah Tobacmans unique and inspirational poetic meditations for counting the Omer or turning toward a new year. These poems will open your heart and spirit! ABOUT OMER/TESHUVAH This book invites us to breathe the air and taste the nectar of the holy, moving through multi-dimensional time, encountering the sacred in the daily. It can be read from one end or the other, offering for our delight, in the words of Gate 38, a rainbow of colours, a delicious sip of possibilities! -Professor Dr. Ibrahim Farajaje, Provost and Professor of Cultural and Islamic Studies, Starr King/Graduate Theological Union Each of the 49 gates of wisdom through which we walk during our seven-week journey from Pesach to Shavuot, and rather innovatively also during the seven weeks leading to Rosh HaShanah, are explored with poetic depth and insight by Shifrah Tobacman. Allow these daily gems to inform and enrich your pilgrimage! You will not be disappointed! -Rabbi Marcia Prager, Dean of Students, Aleph Ordination Programs, Author of Path of Blessing. The poetic meditations in this collection are drawn from the authors own practice of counting the Omer. The Omer is a forty-nine day period between the Jewish holiday of Pesach, which celebrates freedom, and Shavuot, a time of revelation. The practice also has agricultural origins linked to the spring harvest in ancient Israel. The communal and agricultural roots of the Omer period make it an excellent opportunity for considering our relationship to each other, to the Earth that sustains us, and to the Source of All Life that blesses our own lives each day. In 2006, author Shifrah Tobacman attended a seminar taught by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. He mentioned the idea of counting in a similar fashion for the seven weeks that lead up to Rosh Ha-shana, the Jewish new year. He had heard of this idea from Cantor Michael Esformes, who recommended counting down from forty-nine at this time. As Shifrah began to engage in this practice, she found herself writing these poems, which turned into meditations, and finally became the substance of this book. The meditations here are well-suited for either counting the Omer, or in preparing spiritually for a new year. Shifrah is using the term Omer/Teshuvah or Omer Teshuvah for the practice of counting down to the new year. This counting begins immediately following Tisha Bav, which commemorates the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The Hebrew word teshuvah refers to turning or returning. It is used to describe the process of soul-searching and forgiveness that Jews engage in, particularly during the High Holy Days in the Fall, and during the weeks which precede them. One of Shifrahs teachers, Rabbi Shawn Zevit, offers these thoughts on Omer/Teshuvah. Raising up the motifs of each day and adding to our spiritual practice, this collection guides the reader from a mindset of scarcity and tentative self- realization through the sea of distraction and self-doubt to a mountain of possibility and spiritual vibrancy. Read these and help make each day count!