Recipe for a new understanding of the tradition of “Counting the ‘Omer”
From: Kabbalistic Cuisine: The Old Masters Cookbook
Take 2 old, pre-Israelite harvest festivals: the barley festival at the full moon of Nisan and the wheat festival 50 days later,
Fold in the basic Israelite “starter”, the revolutionary idea that the One God can be known in history as well as nature;
Marinate well, until “Exodus” blends with “Barley” and “Giving of the Torah” blends with “wheat”.
Place in the slow cooker of history. While the mixture is cooking, turn to the mysticism section of your work counter.
Work carefully. A proper balance can take practice. Even some master chefs have lost their way in the orchard of mysticism.
Remembering never to lose the idea that God is One, place your Bible on the counter, Genesis-side facing up. Take the Gnostic paring knife and sterilize it--- you don’t want the spores of paganism to enter, because they are quite resilient and will curdle the Bible-blend. With your sterilized knife, peel away the surface of appearances to find the hidden, inner Meaning Of It All. Only pare the surface; do not “cut the young shoots”, or you will find yourself in trouble with the Heavenly Culinary Court. The pared fruit is known as “The Fruit of the Tree of Life.”
If you have done this delicate operation successfully, you will notice a heady scent in the air. That is the aroma of a hidden theology. It teaches that the core Jewish belief, “God is One”, means more than you once thought. Yes, God is One, but there are many attributes harmoniously balanced in the Oneness, just as the several spices of a proper blend complement but do not contradict each other. It’s like “Yin and Yang”, but even more: if you breathe carefully, you will detect 7 different scents. These scents are aspects of the Divine. They are not all of God, but the other three aspects (Keter= Crown/ Hokhmah=Wisdom/ Binah= Understanding) are beyond the range of human senses. Moreover, the essence of God, which is Infinity, cannot be comprehended by our finite minds. But these seven will supercharge your life. They are:
Take the pared fruit and slice it into 7 equal slices. This takes pre-planning. Visualize a pie cut into eighths, and then make each eighth a bit wider, to achieve equal 1/7ths. Each of these slices will yield one week’s worth of value-added meaningfulness to put into the Blender of Time.
Again, exercise caution. The scent is intoxicating. If you are under 40, you will be especially susceptible. A course of strict observance of Torah commandments will help steady your system and allow you to continue with the cooking.
Assemble 49 cups in an array of 7 by 7. You will have seven horizontal rows and seven vertical files of cups. In each cup, ladle one measure of the mixture in the slow cooker. Blend each 1/7th of the pared fruit of the Tree of Life. Divide that puree in two halves. Put the first half into seven of the cups making up one row. Repeat this procedure until the seven purees have filled the seven cups.
With the second half of each mixture, place equal amounts in the cups of one of the files of cups. Doing this procedure seven times, you will fill all 49 cups.
Your result should be as follows:
First row: cup #1= hesed and hesed. Cup#2 – hesed and gevurah., and so on, until you get to Seventh row: cup #1 = malkhut and hesed: Cup #2= malkhut and gevurah, and so on.
You now have the elixir of the ‘Omer.
Each day, imbibe that day’s cup: on the first day of the ‘Omer, the first cup of the first row; on the second day, the second cup of the first day, and so on. DO NOT DRINK THE CUPS OUT OF TURN.
Before you drink the day’s dose, you must achieve a proper state of mindfulness. Otherwise, the mere quaffing will have no effect.
You can achieve the proper mindfulness by meditating on God, Torah and Israel, and the mystical connection binding them together.
Along with the state of mindfulness, you need to recite the proper benediction, including naming the proper cup, before drinking each day’s dose. You have to name the cup in two different ways: its absolute number, and its position in the rows and files. For example, on the 8th day, you will say “the eighth cup, which is the second row and the first file of the cups.” Please check the chart at the back of this cookbook.
If you are still puzzled, please consult a licensed Kabbalist. Or dial 1-800-GOD-LINE.
Rabbi Michael Panitz