Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Counting The Omer.... Why?

As a child, holidays came and went. Each had its own rituals and foods. Some I didn't even notice, others were pretty much good for a day off from school. Now that I am older, and have time to think about these things, I spend a little more time wondering what it is all about.

When my dear daughter asked me to write her an Omer counter I had to look it up to find out what it was. I find the idea interesting for many reasons. Most of which it makes the counter, if you choose to be one, cognizant of the passage of time and the season more than ever. It gives us a chance to prepare for the holiday that celebrates G-d giving us the Torah.

The Torah, everything you need to know about life in one easy to handle scroll, is an amazing gift and however you believe it came to be, it certainly has had a profound impact on Jews and non-Jews alike.

I found a couple of interesting articles on Counting the Omer. The first is from the blog PunkTorah regarding the counting:

So, what does this all mean to us now? Well, it can mean many things. Counting the Omer can be used as a tool of self reflection. We can take this time to recognize the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt, from the gift of our freedom. The Sages tell us that G-d freed us from slavery in order to give us the Torah on Shavu’ot, so this should be a time of preparation. Counting the Omer gives us the time to learn from the gift of freedom G-d has given us and incorporate it into our lives, to grow one day at a time, taking a spiritual accounting, to make sure that we are heading in the right direction, to look at what we are doing that is right or wrong and to try to make ourselves ready to receive the honor of the Torah.
Counting the days is another way of directing our mindfulness to the passage of time. Be aware of the days as they pass, count them, give them meaning. We have been freed from slavery, rejecting the confusion and idolatry (philosophically, literally, and spiritually) of our own Egypt’s and are being made ready to re-focus our lives.
I guess a good take-away from all of this is that one must make each day count. Make each day worth living for you and the people you love. 

(This is a repeat of a post from last year)
Lillian Boxfish Takes a WalkLillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Its a delight to read. It is a savory stew of fascinating stories and language. It is getting to know and interesting person on a very intimate level but more.... It is a look at history and life through one intelligent, thoughtful and clever person. Its more.... I look through sensitive eyes that see almost everything and how things fit together.
I can highly recommend this book, get ready to laugh and maybe cry.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray AmericaThe Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America by Allison Pataki
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

An interesting topic.... just handled in a way that seemed to make it trite. Maybe I was just not in the mood for this kind of story. The characters, real enough, seemed thin and predictable. I just wanted the book to be over. Often I want a book to go on forever, this one not so much. Peggy is the consummate air-head with a devious, selfish mind. Out for her own pleasure and damn everyone else.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

One Man's Flag (Jack McColl, #2)One Man's Flag by David Downing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

David Downing is a great author. This book grabbed me from page one and held on tight all through the book. Sometimes the luck and pluck seemed a bit much but what good are heroes if they don't do heroic things. The love interest and the history are just the frosting on the cake. The characters are rich, complex and totally believable. I feel like I'm in that historical period. A great book, soon on to the third in this trilogy.

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