The Counting of the Omer & the Human Project

Week 7

Today's Reflection: Hope

Torah ends with Moses atop a mountain, looking over the promised land. He never arrives to the place he had spent his whole adult life walking towards, leading the Israelites to. After seeing the place they would go without him, he dies. And in our reading of the story, we go in a single breath from this event, back to the start: creation. 


Our stories are all beginnings, never endings. The promise never fulfilled. This is our quest: from creation, to slavery, freedom, wandering, coming home, and then, back again to the start. The promised land is always in front of us. There is always hope that we will reach it, or at least that we will make things better as we try. And it is this hope that bolsters and animates us; that even as we set out on yet another cyclical quest, that we maintain the belief that history does not repeat itself, and that this time around, we can be better and do better. 


It may be illogical, but Vaclav Havel reminds us (a quote often referenced at Temple Micah) that hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It is this hope, above all, that gives us the strength to live. 


This is the hope of the human project: that our lives can bring redemption a little closer, and that even if they can’t, each of us will try.

Question for Reflection

How can you cultivate hope?

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 have sent out a special, weekly email highlighting a different aspect of the the Human Project for us to ponder throughout the week.


This year's reflections included:

Week 1: The Self and Facing Inward, written by Rabbi Beraha

Week 2: Humility, written by Rabbi Zemel

Week 3: Dignity, written by Rabbi Zemel 

Week 4: Truth, written by Rabbi Slakman

Week 5: Purpose, written by Rabbi Beraha

Week 6: Community and Good Deeds, written by Rabbi Crawley

Week 7: Hope (see above), written by Rabbi Crawley

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