Counting the Omer (Taylor’s Version) 5784

Taylor Swift stands in a wheatfield
Note: Each week of the Omer 5784 we’ll include LilyFish Gomberg’s weekly guide to Counting the Omer (Taylor’s version). Here is the intro and intentions for Week one, Chesed: loving-kindness and benevolence! Find LilyFish’s playlist here.
 
Each year, we count the 49 days from Pesakh to Shavuot–from the splitting of the sea to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. On the journey from the sea – liberation – to Sinai, we had to ready ourselves for the revelation of the Torah. 
As we go through those forty nine days, it’s traditional to the days and to take each one as an opportunity for introspection and personal development. The Kabbalists assigned each week and each day within that week different middot:
Day and week 1: Chesed (lovingkindness)
Day and week 2: Gevurah (might)
Day and week 3: Tiferet (beauty)
Day and week 4: Netzach (perseverance)
Day and week 5: Hod (humility)
Day and week 6: Yesod (foundation),
Day and week 7: Malchut (majesty)
 
 
So day two of week one is Chesed in Chesed, and day two of week one is Gevurah of Chesed.
the values for the counting of the Omer listed in table form
 
Whenever I’d started counting the Omer in years past, I would forget about it somewhere in the second or third week – but last year I was determined to count every day. Coincidentally, the period of counting of the Omer was also around the beginning of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. I’m a huge Swiftie, and so I created a “Taylor’s Version” of counting the Omer and remembered every day! 
 
Now you might be thinking, what exactly does “Taylor’s Version” mean in terms of counting the Omer? Well, counting the Omer is all about personal growth, reflection, and a deeper connection with the world at large. Taylor Swift’s lyrics often explore themes of love, resilience, growth, and self-discovery, mirroring the journey of the Omer. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of relationships, finding strength in adversity, or embracing humility and gratitude, her songs provide a soundtrack for our own introspection and personal development.
 
By intertwining Taylor Swift’s music with the traditional attributes associated with each day, we infuse our spiritual journey with a contemporary resonance that speaks to our modern experiences.
 
As we count the Omer, as we journey from liberation to revelation, from the sea to Sinai, let us draw inspiration from both ancient traditions and modern artistry and reflect on the qualities we wish to cultivate within ourselves and the ways in which we can deepen our connection to our spirituality and the world around us. As Taylor Swift herself once said, “Life is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.” So let us play it good and right, counting each day of the Omer with intention, purpose, and the empowering melodies of Taylor’s version. May this year’s counting of the Omer be a time of growth, reflection, and renewal for us all.
 
Ritual Guide:
 
In moonlight’s embrace, as we count the Omer’s days,
Taylor’s melodies guide us through life’s nuanced maze.
Blessings softly spoken, like whispers in the wind,
In the rhythm of reflection, our souls may start to mend.
 
With Kavannot as our compass, we chart our inner seas,
In the dance of personal growth, where the journey truly frees.
Crafting intentions with each lyric, as we embark on this quest,
In the rhythm of the Omer’s count, we find ourselves blessed.
 
So let Taylor’s words lead us, through the highs and the lows,
In the poetry of her music, where inspiration flows.
For in this sacred journey, our own spirit draws near,
As we count the Omer’s days, Swift’s melodies we revere.
 
The Counting of the Omer begins on 16 Nisan (April 23, 2024 at moonrise).

I. INTRODUCTION:

This ritual guide is presented as one way to engage with the practice of Counting the Omer. It offers a structured format for daily reflection and observance, but it is by no means the only approach. Feel free to adapt and personalize the ritual to suit your spiritual journey.
 
II. PREPARATION:
This ritual should be performed daily throughout the period of the counting of the Omer, in the evening. You will need:
  • A distraction-free space
  • Access to @Jewishswiftie’s Instagram
  • Access to the streaming platform of your choosing
  • Optional: Beads and string
BLESS THE COUNTING OF THE OMER:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר
 
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer
 
Blessed are You, HaShem our G!d, ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.
 
III. THE COUNTING:
Today is the ___ Day of the Omer.
 
That is the ___ day of the ___ week of the Omer.
 
You may do this part in Hebrew too if you want.
Access @Jewishswiftie’s Instagram account daily at 8:00 PM EST to reveal the count and reflection reading for the day.
 
 
IV. LISTEN TO THE SONG OF THE DAY
 
V. PERSONAL REFLECTION:
One option might be: Choose a word or lyric from the song that represents the kavanah of the day and make a bracelet to give to someone over the course of the next day.
 
Week one is Chesed: loving-kindness and benevolence!
 
Day one of week one, Chesed within Chesed, is “Our Song.” Our Song is about a simple, young love that hasn’t yet been complicated. Similarly, on day one of our counting we have just crossed the sea, we are newly and simply free, and we are just beginning to ready ourselves for Torah. Taylor sings, “and when I got home ‘fore I said, “Amen” asking G!d if [we] could play it again!”
 
Day two of week one, Gevurah within Chesed, is “Midnight Rain.Gevurah; strength, discipline, and boundaries, provides a natural foil to boundless love. Even in the midst of all-encompassing love, we must be sure to maintain our selves so that we can continue to offer love. Midnight Rain is about a relationship in which one person isn’t able to get what they need. One of the lines in Midnight Rain is “​​he wanted a bride, I was making my own name,” in which Taylor expresses that her needs weren’t being met and she had to find the strength to leave the relationship to maintain who she is. 
 
Day three of week one, Tiferet within Chesed, is “the 1.Tiferet; truth, balance, and compassion, is the bridge between Chesed and Gevurah. If Chesed is love with no bounds and Gevurah is providing boundaries, Tiferet allows us to see our relationships through others’ eyes and experience empathy. In the 1 Taylor shows compassion for someone who used to be in her life and wishes them well, while also retaining the positive aspects of their previous relationship. She sings “in my defense I have none, for never leaving well enough alone. Butit would’ve been fun if you would have been the one.”
 
Day four of week one, Netzach within Chesed, is “New Years Day.” Netzach; perseverance, ambition, and fortitude, is what we are all looking for in Chesed – enduring love to stand the test of time. In New Years Day, Taylor talks about wanting the kind of love that is not only glamorous, but also there in the monotony of life. She sings “I want your midnights, but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”
 
Day five of week one, Hod within Chesed, is “Mine.” Hod; humility, simplicity, and gratitude, is integral to Chesed. A healthy love requires simple gratitude for each other. In Mine, Taylor sings about a love that persists beyond what she had previously known, and she appreciates her partner –  “you are the best thing that’s ever been mine.”
 
Day six of week one, Yesod within Chesed, is “London Boy.Yesod; truth, foundation, bonding, is another integral part of Chesed. A relationship that is only based in the here and now can’t survive, healthy relationships are build on a foundation of trust and learning about each other. In London Boy, Taylor talks about a relationship that she built with a solid foundation, one where she spent time to really learn her partner’s past. She sings “took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates, so I guess all the rumors are true! You know I love a London boy, boy I fancy you!”
 
Day seven of week one, Malkhut within Chesed, is “This Love.Malkhut; majesty, leadership, and authority, are allows us sovereignty over our Chesed. It’s important to know that you get to decide who and how you love. In This Love, Taylor describes a relationship where one person has left, then chooses to return. She sings about the majesty with which her love returns, “these hands had to let it go free, and this love came back to me.”
 

 

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