Guest post by Nigel Savage, President of Hazon 


I am not a kabbalist but I love the rhythms and the specificity of the omer and of the Jewish calendar. The calendar is a kind of mirror, each day and each week. It offers refracted questions that are universal and timeless, and yet also unique to each one of us in a particular time and place.

This is how we may read the weekly parsha; and this is how I count the omer.

From Purim to Pesach we get rid of our chometz; the superfluity that stops us being free. So on seder night we are able to be truly free; free from all sorts of things – oppression, want, hunger. But seder night is only the start of the journey. Now we have to figure out what to do with our freedom. And so we count the omer, the seven sefirot, representing different aspects of our being in the world, leading us towards becoming the person we aspire to be.

Malchut, the last week of the omer, is thus a culmination. The 49th day of the omer, malchut she’b’malchut, is the last day of the omer and the penultimate day of a cycle that begins with Purim, pivots around seder night, and ends with Shavuot, the giving of the Torah – which is, at it were, the 50th day of the omer.

So malchut – this week; this last day – is our opportunity to think about openness and kindness; about boundaries and discipline; about beauty and balance; about endurance, simplicity, humility, fundamentals, sexuality. Each of these aspects of who we are and of how we choose to live has been the subject of the different weeks of the omer. Malchut – literally kingship – suggests that we have immense power and immense responsibility. It invites us to use our power and our choice wisely.

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