In sefer Shoftim [7;13] Gidon gets a sign from HaShem that he will be victorious in battle; the dream of a roasted barley bread rolling through and destroying the enemy. Rashi explains that this occurred on Pesach, during which the Korban Omer is offered (of barley) and this merit enabled the victory of Bnei Yisrael. Rashi’s source, the Midrash (Rabba Emor 25) quotes different views on the merit of this Korban; Rav Yochanan says it allowed Avraham to inherit Israel, others say it won the battle for Gidon, and Rav Levi says its merit foiled the plans of Hamman in Purim. Why does this sacrifice give so much merit; why is it so important? Rav Yosef Salant asks further; why is the korban called the ‘korban omer’ - an omer is a volume. All the other korbanot are named after the way they are baked or their ingredients (eg Korban Mincha after its grain used). Why name the korban omer after a volume?
He explains that the ’omer’ is to remind us of another ’omer’ in the Torah - the omer of Manna which we received daily in the desert (Shmos 16;16). The Eved Hamelech explains that the lesson of the Manna is that just like in the desert HaShem nourished the Bnei Yisrael, so too our job is to study Torah and do mitzvos with all our strength believing that HaShem will help us with our physical needs (the subject of hishtadlus - that we must do something to generate this income - is not for now). Ie we can’t claim that earning a living leaves no time for Torah study, since HaShem is the Source of both of them.
This is exactly what the prophet Yirmiyah called out to the Bnei Yisrael to avoid the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash; They claimed ’how will we live if we just study Torah,’ and Yirmiyah took out the flask of Manna and said ’see…that from this Manna your forefathers were nourished. There are many ways at HaShem’s disposal to nourish those who fear Him’ (As quoted by Rashi parshas Beshalach).
The Korban Omer and our counting to Shavuos every year - the ’counting of the Omer’ is to remind us of this fundamental principle - to have full bitachon in HaShem. The Korban Omer is brought from the new barley crop, and until it is offered it is forbidden to use any of the new grain. The Omer thus symbolises the recognition that all blessing emanates from HaShem - even the produce of the fields which are ostensibly the result of very hard labour by the farmers and labourers. Now we can go back to our original question…it is now understandable why this mitzvah acts as such a merit for Bnei Yisrael; since it shows Emunah and Bitachon in HaShem, which is the most fundamental principle of the Torah. The Omer reminded Gidon and his warriors that the field of the battle, like the field of grain, is under HaShem’s control and in that merit the miracle occurred.

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