Sefiros HaOmer Webinar

I’m really sorry I haven’t written in a while. I have been on the road speaking and will post another article in the near future. At the moment, I will be participating in a live Webinar with UMJC Executive Director, Rabbi Russ Resnik on Sefiros HaOmer, the Counting of the Omer, leading up to Shavouos and the UMJC prayer campaign this Sunday, April 10, at 2:00 MDT (1:00 PDT; 3:00 CDT; 4:00 EDT). People need to register in advance at ““>


3 thoughts on “Sefiros HaOmer Webinar

  1. Thanks for doing this webinar, R. Schiffman. I hope it marks the beginning of a new trend within Messianic Judaism: easily available, high quality, and practical reviews of halacha for holidays, etc.

    I also appreciated the space for exploring some of the thornier questions related to the topic of counting the Omer, like the meaning of the word “Shabbat” in the command (“day after Pesach” or “first day of the week”?). I wonder whether a shiur-style approach might foster that even more. So the practical, here-are-the-basics webinar could be complemented by a second shiur-style talk which takes one of these thornier questions and unpacks various relevant halakhic texts to dig into the question. I’d like to see us as a Messianic Jewish community discover and embrace ways to communally explore these halakhic questions without always making it seem like we’re deciding whether or not we agree with the halakha…and I think the shiur format is the way it’s done.

    FWIW, I’m also not convinced by the assertion made in the webinar that there isn’t conversation about the “day after”/”first day” question within mainstream Judaism. The Talmud is our repository of all the halakhic disputations within the rabbinic tradition–surely it records something on the matter for us. I’m also willing to bet that it wouldn’t be too hard to find a shiur on on Sefirat HaOmer which discusses the question.

    Perhaps the commenter’s assertion was more about the idea that there isn’t an ACTIVE conversation in Judaism about it. That of course would be true, and has more to do with the fact that once a ruling is made on a halakhic matter, that ruling is accepted as binding for the Jewish community. It’s no secret that this particular dispute has ties to the polemical Pharisaical/Sadducean conflict of the first-century, but as Daniel Lancaster points out (, the historical evidence would suggest that if the early Messiah-followers participated in Jewish communal life in and around the Temple, they followed the Pharisaical reckoning. And I would think that if Matthew 23:3 means anything, it would include an endorsement for the Matthean community of the Pharisaical calendar over/against others…

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