The Kabbalah of Counting Omer
The true organization of information. A seven week tour of Sefirat haOmer and the countdown to Shavuot. With both ancient and modern sources we will examine the power of numbers to organize chaos, manage information, and focus the mind on the inherent structure in man and the universe.
The Kabbalah of Counting Omer: Lesson 1
Shalom and Welcome to a new zman at WebYeshiva. Tomorrow night we will begin a fascinating study. The power and impact of counting, its relevance to Torah, society, economy and especially, spirituality. In this semester we will attempt to answer to some important questions? What am I counting? Why do I count? Can I count non-physical entities? Why is counting important now, this time of year? What happens when I count? To me… To the world.. How does counting align me with G.d? How does counting advance civilization? How does counting structure the mind? Space? Time? Does human counting reflect G.d’s counting? My hope is that these questions and more will challenge us, and help us appreciate the complexity, beauty and precision of how G.d runs the world. There should be a few personal surprises along the way. Look forward to seeing you all thursday night. God bless all of you and your families with Torah light and love. Avraham Shira
The Kabbalah of Counting Omer: Lesson 2
Shalom and Welcome: Tomorrow night we will continue to explore the nature, power and necessity of counting. This will include the importance and centrality of gematriot, Kabbalistic numerology and the tree of life, the idea of building numbers as energy fields, and organizers of information, in the mind and on paper (or pixels if you prefer). Since we are on the eve of Lag b’Omer, we will also discuss some ideas about Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the significance of his death during the Omer, the jewish world’s response to tragedy, and the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students. I hope to share this class from Tzfat, the holy city, overlooking Meron and the the largest Jewish gathering in the world. The atmosphere here is electric with excitement and activity. May we all merit to the light Rabbi Shimon and the Zohar. always, Avraham
The Kabbalah of Counting Omer: Lesson 3
Shalom and welcome. Tonight we continue our exploration of counting the Omer. We will begin with a redaction of the Creation process as taught by the Ari’zal and how that process is a ‘counting’ from Nothing to Something, from Infinity to Finity, from endless to specific. This includes the counting of structures and forms which create the ideas of numbers by which we order the human perception of the Universe. From there we will look at some particularly difficult statements about the Omer by R. Nachman and how they translate into practical understanding in our lives. Look forward to seeing you there, Avraham Shira
The Kabbalah of Counting Omer: Lesson 4
Shalom and Welcome, Tomorrow night the Ari’zal will take us through a complete review of how sefirat haOmer leads us to the building of the vessels to receive the Torah anew again on Chag Shavuot. From his description we will learn some profound parallels between the Chagim, and how the Jewish Calender, the center of our national counting and frame of identity as Jews in the world, is an expression of how the Divine Man, Z’A expands and contracts and expresses G’d’s will through the course of a year. We truly will see the interplay of space and time and divinity through the unfolding of the jewish calender. From this we will gleen something of why the Greeks outlawed Rosh Chodesh. By doing so they were cancelling our calender, which is essentially cancelling, G-d forbid, Judaism and the every day life of a jew. Look forward to seeing you there, Avraham Shira
The Kabbalah of Counting Omer: Lesson 6
Tonight we will continue our exploration of time with teachings from the Mishnat Chasidim and the Ari’zal, hoping to understand and perhaps experience a moment of time above time. To use our mind to enter the place where past present and future are one. We will also explore some ideas about time in relation to the holy sephirot, and the differences between physical and spiritual time. Look forward to seeing you tonight Avraham Shira
The Kabbalah of Counting Omer: Lesson 7
Shalom and welcome, This will be our last class of the zman and I hope we can reach together to a greater understanding of counting, time and the creation of space in the soul of man. We will learn from Rebbe Nachman’s story of the Seven Beggars, how each zadik takes us further backward in time through memory. We hope to explore the link of memory and time and how the soul, is the transport through these realms. Time permitting we will explore how G.d’s names are also conduits of time into the past and the future. Look forward to seeing all of you there Avraham Shira
Rabbi Avraham Shira received smicha from Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli, Rosh Yeshivat HaMekubalim, Nahar Shalom, in Jerusalem. He has been a student and teacher in the Yeshiva since 1993. Since 1996 he has taught for twelve years at the Berot Bat Ayin Seminary, specializing in Likutei Moharan, and conducting workshops in meditation, and spiritual creative writing. He has also received a Masters Degree in Clinical Sociology & Family Therapy from the University of North Texas, Neve Yerushalayim Campus. Rabbi Shira has published a novel and translates a newsletter for Nahar Shalom. He lives with his wife, Elisheva and their five children in Bat Ayin, Gush Etzion.