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Omer Board

1730

Shearith Israel has two “'Omer Boards” which pre-date the Mill Street Synagogue of 1730. They are used in the synagogue to count the seven weeks between Passover and Shabuot. This based on Leviticus 23:15, which instructs us to count 50 days from the offering of the new barley sacrifice on Passover until the holiday of Shabuot when the new wheat was offered. The measurement of the offering was called an “'Omer” and from this unit of measurement comes the name used for this seven week period. The letters H, S, D found on the boards stand for the Homer (H is an archaic way of transliterating the Hebrew letter 'ayin), S for Semana (weeks), and Dia (days.)  The boards have been used annualy for nearly 300 hundred years.

Emma Lazaraus

Emma Lazarus is best known for her famous poem, “The New Colossus,” inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. 

1883
Second Mill Street Synagogue
1818