“This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.'” Exodus 16:16 (The Israel Bible™)
Kohanim (Jewish priests) blow the trumpet to celebrate the re-enactment of the Omer offering. (Photo: Adam Propp)
On Monday, a very special gathering took place in Jerusalem. A group of Kohanim, Jews from the priestly caste, reenacted the Omer offering service as it would have appeared on Shavuot (the Festival of Weeks) were the temple standing today.
The Kohanim, wearing clothes made according to Biblical specifications, were accompanied by music played on silver horns, specially created to be used in the Third Temple.
Kohanim adorn special garments made in preparation for the Third Holy Temple. (Photo: Adam Propp)
The period for bringing first fruits begins on Shavuot so, like the original ceremonies in the Jewish Temples, the reenactment included the presentation of the first fruits, bikurim, to the priests while reciting the Biblical passages.(Deuteronomy 26:3-10)
I profess this day unto Hashem thy God, that I am come unto the land which Hashem swore unto our fathers to give us.’” Deuteronomy 26:3
Attendees of the re-enactment overlook the old city and the Temple Mount from the Arnona promenade in Jerusalem. (Photo: Adam Propp)
‘A wandering Aramean was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there, few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous. Deuteronomy 26:5
And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the land, which Thou, O Hashem, hast given me.’ And thou shalt set it down before Hashem thy God, and worship before Hashem thy God. Deuteronomy 26:10
Children adorn the traditional white garments of the Kohein (priests) as they reenact the offering of the first fruits. (Photo: Adam Propp)
The Omer offering is preceded by a libation of wine made from specially grown grapes, poured from silver vessels that were specially prepared to be used in the Third Temple.
A Kohein pours the wine libation from a special vessel. (Photo: Adam Propp)
The two loaves, baked beforehand from a sourdough, were shaped in a special manner with squared ‘horns’ in the corners, resembling the altar.
The two sourdough loaves baked to Biblical specifications for the Omer offering. (Adam Propp)
Lambs were brought for the demonstration, since the two loaves of the Omer wave offering are accompanied by sheep that have been slaughtered and cut into pieces. For the reenactment, the lambs were allowed to watch while contentedly chewing grass. Meat was brought from the local butcher and placed on the altar.
Kohanim bring the breads and lambs ready for offering reenactment in Jerusalem. (Photo: Adam Propp)
After the ceremony, the priests ate the bread, while the participants celebrated joyously at meriting to catch a glimpse of the glory of the Temple.
Men dance and celebrate after offering the Omer sacrifice in Jerusalem. (Photo: Adam Propp)