On this last day of counting the Omer, this seventh day of the sixth week, which gives us seven full weeks, we consider Malchut in Malchut – Leadership in Leadership, the ultimate in leadership.
Tonight, or some clear night soon, I invite you to step outside, lie down on the ground on your back, and look up at the stars. When you do, you will see celestial bodies that have been where they are for billions of years. You will gaze at a night sky that people have been gazing at since the beginning of human kind. Perhaps you will see constellations. Perhaps you have learned names that we humans have given to these pictures made of stars. Perhaps you are familiar with the Big Dipper, or the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, or Pegasus, the Winged Horse. If you identify Ursa Major, the Great Bear, you are seeing a constellation thought to have been named 5,000 years ago. We are looking back into human history as well as the history of the Universe when we gaze at the night sky. Feel your smallness. Then feel your connection. Know that you are a part of something so much larger than yourself that its size is beyond our comprehension. Know that mystery remains in the Universe. And know that you are important. And when you have gazed long enough, I invite you to get up and go inside and begin a new beginning, be ready to receive the gifts that came from the mountaintop and from the sky, the gifts that remain in the trees and the rocks and the birds and the moon and the flowers and the water and the stars, after all these many, many millenia.
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam, asher kid-shanu b'mitzvotav, vitzivanu, al sefirat ha'omer.
Blessed are you Adonai our G!d, ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us with mitzvot and commands us regarding the counting of the Omer.
Today is forty-nine days, which is seven weeks of the Omer.
And so we reach the end of our counting together. I thank you for walking this journey with me. I couldn't have done it without you. May your Shabbat be restful, your Shavuot meaningful, you Memorial Day healing, and your long weekend joyous. May you find the strength and the peace and the insight you need. May you be blessed on your journey through life.
Todah rabbah – thank you,