Day 33 Counting the Omer 2013 Hod she b’Hod


Splendor within Splendor

Shavua tov! Today is Lag b’Omer, the special holiday that is celebrated on the 33rd day of the counting toward revelation. We can find many explanations for the holiday, but I want to focus on how it is marked today – with picnics and outdoor events. We celebrate the diversity of nature as evidence of the splendor in our world. Appreciation implies responsibility. Today, this means responsibility for preserving the diversity of nature so that future generations will be able to appreciate it. Climate change is real. In Israel, Lag b’Omer picnics are usually accompanied by campfires– but this year wildfires are raging. In other locations, lovely picnic groves have become surrounded by dying vegetation. We can, appropriately, look at Lag b’Omer as a call to environmental action.

Rav Kook says: The whole is constituted of numberless particulars, particular individuals and particular communities The whole cannot achieve its highest fulfillment except through the perfection of its particular individuals, and the particular communities, whether large of small, of which it is constituted.” Communities of plants, insects, mammals, trees and humans all count as part of the splendor we celebrate today.

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