Counting the Omer

woman standing in front of lifesize blackboard counting days

The period between Passover and Shavuot marks two kinds of movement through time: the passage of the seven weeks between the barley offering and the first wheat offering at the ancient Temple during these spring festivals, and the transition from slavery to true liberation. On Passover, we leave Egypt, but on Shavuot we receive the Torah, which gives us our purpose as a people, answering the question of the ultimate goal of our collective freedom. For many people, the "counting of the Omer"—these 49 days—provides a time for reflection and growth, often using the seven “lower” emanations of God in the kabbalistic system as spiritual themes for each day and week. Another extraordinary approach offers the opportunity to meditate each day on a biblical woman whose life reflects the mystical qualities associated with that day.

Counting the Omer: An Artistic Practice

By D'vorah Horn
For seven consecutive years I have created a painting based upon a practice known as “Counting the Omer.”   The practice has ancient biblical roots as well as contemporary adaptations....  more
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Numbering Our Days

By Rabbi Roni Handler
As we count our days, weeks, and months, we are reminded that in every moment we have the potential to recreate ourselves and the world around us.    In the book of Bereishit (Genesis), the...  more
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True Confessions of an Omer Walker

by Rabbi Roni Handler
I pray that I continue to remember to prioritize both my spiritual and physical sustenance each and every day, even if only for the amount of time that it takes to recite a simple blessing.    more
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by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger
I think of the Omer—this period of time we are now in the midst of—as learning to count, learning to wait. Shavuot is the only holiday that the Torah does not affix a particular date to; instead we...  more
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Walking the Omer

by Rabbi Roni Handler
This practice of counting, of singling out each day, also serves as a reminder to make each and every day count.   more
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