Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach from Australia!
וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה.
15 And you shall count for yourselves from after the day of rest, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving; they will be seven complete weeks...
As we approach the Holiday of Shavuot and count the last days of Sefirat Ha'Omer (the counting of the Omer) that began almost seven full weeks ago, I would like to reflect on our own personal countdown. Seven weeks ago, our family was still waiting to receive our visas to move to Australia and at that time we were still living in Omer (Israel)! During that first week of Passover, while visiting family in North America, we received the news that our visas had been granted and we began counting down the days to moving to Melbourne, Australia -- in parallel to counting the days of the Omer. We arrived here in Australia just in time for the Holiday of Shavuot after counting seven weeks. Our two and a half year old daughter, Tiferet Tehilla, was obsessed with counting the Omer every day on my Omer counting app for the iPhone and learned the blessing by heart. She understood that we lived in Omer and associated the count with our home, for which she longed while we were away -- little did she know that our (Merav and I) association with the count this year coincided with leaving Omer and starting a new chapter for our family in Australia.
We would like to say a big Shalom Aleichem to our new congregation -- Kehilat Nitzan. We are thrilled to be here with you, to go from strength to strength and count many days together.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
Rabbi Yonatan (Merav, Tiferet Tehilla and Maayan Tekhelet)