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Wheat field

Counting the Omer with

Day 49 — Erev Shavuot

Marga and Henri Vogel with Alan Morinis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Because of Alan we know that Mussar middot and the Counting of the Omer are interrelated in such a way that we are ready to receive Torah after 49 days of deep introspection. Marga and Henri Vogel with Alan Morinis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Journeys end. We have been walking day by day for 49 days now, and our steps have brought us to the end of the counting of the Omer. Again this year, we have retraced our steps from leaving slavery in Egypt to the revelation and receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Again this year, Shavuot has arrived.

We endeavored to do two things this Omer season — provide you with insightful and inspiring teachings from some of the many wise people who are involved in our Mussar community; and feature daily some of the many faces whose holy souls illuminate and strengthen our spiritual efforts.

The format for our program came directly from the practice of the famed Mussar yeshiva of Kelm, where the Omer period was marked by daily lessons based on Pirkei Avot 6:6, which catalogues the 48 ways to “acquire Torah.” By adopting their practice we link to tradition; and we remain true to our teachers by updating the teachings themselves with contemporary messages and meaning. You can access all the lessons in the archive on our website.

In the end, over 100 people contributed to the richness of our Omer counting this year. We express our sincere appreciation to all who contributed, and hope that through their efforts and contributions, you were able to find meaning and benefit in this year’s counting.

Journeys move us forward in time and space but they can also take us up or down. Our hope is that your participation in this year’s Omer counting with The Mussar Institute and our growing and inspiring community took you higher, and helped prepare you to receive Torah after these 49 days of learning and introspection.

May your journey be blessed. May the Torah illuminate your life and animate your soul. May you be a blessing in the lives of all who encounter you. And may you continue to step higher and higher.

Chag sameiach,

Alan and Avi

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