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Day Number One

יום אחד לעומר

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

All the efforts that went into the Seder, all the Pesach preparation, cleaning, and cooking, all the customs and the songs of the Haggadah -- may now be channeled into these few words:

"Today is day one of the Omer."

So explained my brother-in-law, Rabbi Rafael Meir, in whose Rehovot home we were guests for the Seder. Last night, at the close of the first day of Pesach, we began to count the Omer. We will continue counting every day for seven weeks, from now until the festival of Shavuot, which commemorates the revelation at Mount Sinai.

Yet although the Seder is a peak experience, it is not the end and not the summit; it is just the beginning. We now traverse a long road that began with leaving Egypt, leads to Mount Sinai and the giving of the Torah, and eventually brings us to the Land of Israel, our home which, even in the midst of the festival of freedom, is not free from enemy attack.

"In every generation they rise against us to destroy us." We read and sang these words from the Haggadah even as our enemies to the north and the south were launching missiles into our land. But always, as the words of the song continue: "The Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand."

May everyone enjoy a happy and quiet holiday. Shabbat shalom.


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