It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer.
Perhaps it’s because I haven’t had class for almost two weeks. Perhaps it’s because the temperature keeps climbing (it’s 85°F right now!). Perhaps it’s because I live in a beach town and in the last week especially everyone in the world seems to have remembered that.
All I know is, it feels like summer.
I still have more than a month of class left. I’ve got some busy weeks and weekends coming up. I’ve got summer plans to figure out and fall jobs and housing to begin to find. I have homework and reading to do (perhaps, y’know, at the beach).
Despite feeling like summer, it’s not. I just have to remember that long enough to get to Shavuot.
So here’s a cool thing about the Jewish calendar from now until just a couple of days before I go home: ya count days. Between the second night of Passover and Shavuot, there are exactly 7 weeks– 49 days. On the 50th day, we celebrate Shavuot, which marks the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Every night of those 7 weeks, it’s traditional to count the omer. Back in the day, the omer was a measurement that Jews were expected to offer in barley to the Temple. Today, we don’t have a Temple, and most of us don’t grow barley, but we count all the same.
So, every night from now until Shavuot (the night of May 30th), I’ll count up. Every morning from now until June 2nd, I’ll count down. Two civilizations. The enlightened will understand. (I think I just tried to make two kinds of jokes at once and the cross section of people who will get both is very, very small, but I’m entertained, so there.)
So, we come to this week’s blessing, which comes from a wonderful friend from college. She sent me a package way back in December that took like a month to get here, beaten up and held by the post office and chock full of holiday goodies. It also included a card and, within the card, a blessing!
“The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.” Remembering this on the hard days and remember that you’re stronger and more powerful than you know.
I’ve been really lucky lately. I haven’t had a lot of hard days in recent weeks. I’m sure that more will come between now and the finish, and I am so grateful to have people both here and in America in my corner.
Finally, last Sunday was Easter, and last Monday, I found myself sitting in my apartment when I suddenly heard what sounded like a drum line. Naturally I went to investigate. A couple of blocks from me I stumbled upon the “Jaffa Easter Parade,” in which Palestinian Christians from all over gathered. It was delightful. So many dressed up people, so many adorable children, and did I mention…bagpipes?!
It was very exciting. I was very happy. I hope you are too. Shabbat Shalom, my friends.