COUNTING THE OMER – This prayer is traditionally recited between sundown and sunrise of each day.
Day 33: Hod she b’Hod
The Blessing (Day 33):
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sephirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, G-D, Source of Splendor, You make us holy through your mitzvot, commanding us to count the Omer.
Ha yom shloshim v’shloshim yom, shehem arba’a shavuot v’chamishim yamim l’Omer.
Today is the thirty-third day, which makes four weeks and five days of the Omer.
Week Five- Hod (Splendor, Glory, Reverberation)
Day Thirty-three: Hod she b’Hod (Splendor within Splendor) – LEFT HIP to LEFT HIP
Today, on this 33rd day of the Omer, we celebrate the special holiday of Lag b’Omer. “Lag” is not a Hebrew word; it is the numerical equivalent of the number 33. It is formed from the combination of the Hebrew letter lamed for 30 and gimel for 3. (LG – sound produced is LAG) In Jewish history, a number of tragedies occurred during this 7 week period of the Counting of the Omer (any Google search will bring up tons of information on this so I won’t list it here). To commemorate these calamities, it has become customary in traditional Jewish communities to observe a period of semi-mourning during the counting of the Omer and many festivities are not held during this time. On the 33rd day though, Lag b’Omer, we stop our mourning for the day, and take this time to appreciate the myriad splendors of the world around us, to notice all the varieties of creation with gratitude. It is a holiday of appreciating nature, and in Israel, people celebrate this by having picnics in the woods.
Hod she b’Hod mirrors the splendor of creation, the unfolding mystery of electrons within atoms within molecules within chemicals within cells within heart muscles. We wonder at the mystery of why planes fly and if dogs have a sense of humor, speculate on the miracles of healing and the challenges of love. It is a time to think like a young child, asking questions about the nature of reality, in delight and wonder. Hod she b’Hod asks that we relish detail, noting the magnificent diversity of creation in all its aspects.
Today is the eighteenth day of the month of Iyar – the Chai (life) of the month. Eighteen is a very special number in Judaism, celebrating all that is life. It is a special day for recognizing the Splendor of life, the awesomeness of our world and our place in it.