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What's the connection between the Omer and the Holy Temple?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

According to most Halachic authorities, the counting of the Omer was a Biblical obligation only when the Omer sacrifice was actually offered in the Holy Temple. After all, the Torah says to count "from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering."

Today the Sages instituted that we continue this practice in memory of the Biblical command -- and in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, when once again we will be observing the Biblical command of counting the Omer.

Therefore, after counting the Omer we turn to G-d and say: "We did the Mitzvah to the best of our ability, but our current circumstance does not allow us to fulfill the Mitzvah in its optimum form. Rebuild the Holy Temple and enable us to observe this Mitzvah as You intended us to do it!"

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