Reflections on Parashat Acharei MotSefirat Ha’Omer- 27th Day by Yael Bendat-Appell, Assistant Director

We have now moved beyond the halfway point of Sefirat Ha’Omer, the counting of days between Pesach and Shavuot. As a people, we count as we move through time; moving towards something greater and marking a journey.  We move from slavery to liberation to spiritual redemption. We move from Yom HaShoah to Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut. We mark the days; we inhabit each emotion; we feel the weight and significance of these moments in time; the familiarity of the cycle as we pass through them year after year. We encounter these moments as long lost relatives, finding their way into our homes and our hearts each time they find themselves at our door.

I had the privilege of attending my nephew’s Brit Milah last week. He was born the week of Yom Ha’Atzmaut. He was named Theodore Moshe, after Herzl, for his audacity to dream on behalf of his people and to will his dream into a reality; and he was named for Moshe, my Grandfather, of blessed memory. This week’s Torah portion is Acharei Mot “After Death.” What do we Jews do after death? We name; we remember; we sanctify; we build; we celebrate. We mark time and we count the omer, always aware that we are on a journey, moving towards something greater.

As we build towards the summer, as the campers count down the days, let us celebrate the fact that returning to Ramah feels like a return to that relative, in whom we find comfort, meaning, significance. This is what Jewish life is all about.