0

What is the translation of an omer? Do the sages or rabbis use, at least, two different translations? Does an "omer" ever mean a bundle of standing (or not standing) grain stalks?

Please note: I am not asking what an omer is. That has been answered here already. What is Omer and how much is it?

Chabad-Website leaves the word "omer" untranslated, assuming the average reader knows what an "omer" is. For example, Vayikra 23:11 reads "And he shall wave the omer before the Lord so that it will be acceptable for you; the kohen shall wave it on the day after the rest day." https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9924/showrashi/true

Mechon-Mamre translates the word "omer" as "sheaf" all throughout Vayikra 23. For example, Vayikra 23:11 reads "And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0323.htm

My understanding is that the average reader thinks of a bundle of standing (or not standing) grain stalks when they read "sheaf". Does an "omer" then ever mean a bundle of standing (or not standing) grain stalks? If not, then "sheaf" is a very misleading translation.

8
  • Devarim 24:19 ושכחת עמר בשדה, and you forget a sheaf in the field, May 19 '20 at 20:39
  • @IsraelReader what does Rashi means, when he says, "But not a stack" (what is a stack? Is a stack a "sheaf"?) and Rashi also says "This comes to include שִׁכְחָה of standing grain" (Is this a "sheaf"?) chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9988/showrashi/true
    – ninamag
    May 20 '20 at 3:01
  • A sheaf is a single bundle, and a גדיש, is stack of bundles. May 20 '20 at 13:09
  • @IsraelReader so, indeed, an omer can either be a measure or a sheaf, depending on context.
    – ninamag
    May 20 '20 at 13:28
  • Indeed. The same as חמרא, which can mean wine, and can mean a donkey. How do we know what it means? We look at context. Is it it in the BARN, or is it in the BAR. The same with עמר. It depends on context. We also find one of the forbidden labors on Shabbbos, is מעמר, a verb, which ,means making bundles. We also find in Ruth (2:7) ואספתי בעמרים. May 20 '20 at 14:17
0

Yes, it can also mean sheaf.

וַתֹּ֗אמֶר אֲלַקֳטָה־נָּא֙ וְאָסַפְתִּ֣י בָֽעֳמָרִ֔ים אַחֲרֵ֖י הַקּוֹצְרִ֑ים וַתָּב֣וֹא וַֽתַּעֲמ֗וֹד מֵאָ֤ז הַבֹּ֙קֶר֙ וְעַד־עַ֔תָּה זֶ֛ה שִׁבְתָּ֥הּ הַבַּ֖יִת מְעָֽט׃

https://www.sefaria.org/Ruth.2.7

(Although if you want to play devil's advocate, this could also be attributed to her developing Hebrew skills.)

5
  • would it be correct (perhaps some ancient rabbis have pointed this out already?), that omer in the singular means omer (a measure), whereas omerim in the plural as in ruth 2:7, can also mean sheaves?
    – ninamag
    May 19 '20 at 13:52
  • 1
    ושכחת עמר בשדה.
    – Double AA
    May 19 '20 at 14:13
  • @DoubleAA please provide reference for this phrase.
    – ninamag
    May 19 '20 at 14:20
  • @DoubleAA what does Rashi means, when he says, "But not a stack" (what is a stack? Is a stack a "sheaf"?) and Rashi also says "This comes to include שִׁכְחָה of standing grain" (Is this a "sheaf"?) chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9988/showrashi/true
    – ninamag
    May 20 '20 at 8:11
  • @Heshy Did a kohen or levite ever lift the cut barley sheaf and waved it before Hashem, perhaps right after cutting it?
    – ninamag
    May 26 '20 at 11:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .