The Counting of the Omer & the Human Project

Week 3

Today marks the third week of the Omer, and this week we focus on the notion of dignity. In upcoming weeks, expect our rabbis’ reflections on other aspects of the Human Project: Truth, Purpose, Community, and Hope.

Our intention is that these weekly emails will foster an introspective period for our community, enhancing the Omer’s relevance, and leading us towards a deeper understanding of the Human Project — an essential component of Temple Micah's Roadmap.

Today's Reflection: Dignity

The fundamental Jewish principle is that all people are born with God given human dignity and are therefore deserving of lives lived in dignity.

Genesis asserts that humans are created in “God’s image” (1:27). The Mishnah teaches, “Adam was created alone so that one person cannot say to another: My ancestor is greater than yours….” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). Thomas Jefferson captured this with “All men are created equal.” In his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Killer Angels, Michael Shaara writes most simply that the American value is that all people have equal “worth.”

In this season of counting the Omer, we are marching from the freedom of Passover to the revelation of Sinai where the Israelites committed to building a society based on this sacred universal ideal: human dignity.

Question for Reflection

What do I do to advance the cause of dignity for all human beings? How do I manifest human dignity in the way I live my life?

About the Counting of the Omer

The Omer is a period of counting that spans the 49 days (7 weeks) between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. The name – Omer – refers to an ancient measure of grain which was brought as an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem on the second day of Passover.

After the destruction of the Temple, the counting of the Omer was reinterpreted as time of introspection leading up to the holiday of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah. While there are different ways to approach introspection, this year we are choosing to reflect on the Human Project, an essential component of Temple Micah's Roadmap.

Exploring Temple Micah's Roadmap: the Human Project

For this year’s counting, Temple Micah's rabbis will send out a special, weekly email highlighting a different aspect of the the Human Project for us to ponder throughout the week.

In the simplest of explanations, the Human Project is a set of ideas that focus on our shared humanity and what it means to be a good person. It asks us to look inwards at ourselves, acknowledging our own dignity, and to spread this awareness outwards to our communities and the world. We look forward to sharing our reflections with you.


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