Torah for this Hour | May 16, 2024

Five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes.
Five hundred, twenty five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes.
How do you measure, measure a year?

Those are the opening lyrics of the song I like most from the musical, “Rent.” How do you measure, how do you count, and how do you deal with each moment of a year?

So we have gotten through Hanukkah, Tu B’Shvat, Purim, Pesaḥ, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzma’ut, and we are counting the omer each day as though each number dresses up as a round number symbolizing an entire world. And the thorny news broadcasts announce in pain: “We are now authorized to publicize the names of the soldiers who fell …”

I hereby declare: I am prepared and stand ready to observe the mitzvah of counting the omer, counting, it seems, day after day, each day full of light and darkness, good and evil, new hope and disappointments. And despite everything, each day holds new potential for our building and being built.