The Passover journey is launched in “not knowing” — as when a new Pharaoh arises who does not know Joseph (אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַע, אֶת-יוֹסֵף, Exodus 1:8) or God (לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת-יְהוָה, Exodus 5:2) — and it aims for “knowing”:
…You shall know that I am YHVH, your God…
וִידַעְתֶּם, כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם (Exodus 6:7).
The Exodus experiences and our travels in the wilderness are meant to increase our knowledge of the divine so that we can better serve God. (See Silber “Rereading the Plagues”).
A key element in the journey from liberation to revelation is understanding the workings of oppression, and our part in them. We cannot work effectively to end what we do not comprehend.
So this year, moving from Passover to Shavuot, I commit to learning more about how oppression works and how liberation is accomplished. I invite others to join me:
Let’s work together, as we count the Omer, to make this Omer count.
Thoughts and sources welcome.
Share this graphic to encourage others to participate.
A Meditation for Making the Omer Count, 5775
Aware that we are on a journey toward knowing God — from liberation to revelation — I undertake to know more today than I did yesterday about the workings of oppression.
I bless and count [full Hebrew blessings in feminine and masculine address]:
Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.
Today is day one of the Omer.
In the spirit of the Exodus, I pray for the release all whose bodies and spirits remain captive, and pledge my own hands to help effect that liberation.
David Silber’s “Rereading the Plagues,” in Go Forth and Learn: A Passover Haggadah. Philadelphia, PA: JPS, 2011.