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The Omer was an ancient Hebrew measure of grain. Biblical law (Leviticus 23:9-11) forbade any use of the new barley crop until an omer was brought as an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem.
This week, we read a special portion from the book of Exodus for the holiday of Sukkot that explains, "You shall observe… the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year."
The requirement that we rest on Shabbat is explained by the Torah according to two broad themes.