“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™)
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.
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
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
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.
The two loaves, baked beforehand from a sourdough, were shaped in a special manner with squared ‘horns’ in the corners, resembling the altar.
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.
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.