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As Passover concludes, with its familiar stories and Seder rituals, next on our Hebrew calendar is Counting the Omer. Like the Israelite’s journey through the desert, this too is a time to continue our path of personal and spiritual growth.

What’s an omer? An ancient measure for grain, an omer (sheaf) was an offering brought to the ancient Temple on the second day of Passover. Starting on that day (March 28, this year), the Torah instructs: “you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: you must count until the day after the seventh week – 50 days” (Leviticus 23:15-16). On that 50th day (May 16, this year), the Festival of Shavuot, marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, begins.

We are given yet another opportunity to recount, reconsider, and elevate our spiritual life. Especially as we await COVID vaccinations and a return to “normal,” maybe you’re facing loneliness, confusion, or even frustration and exhaustion. Could a bit of spiritual reflection help?

Try this guide to help you partake in the practice of Counting the Omer, on whatever level feels appropriate. Click on links below to find 49 daily reflections, grouped into themes for 7 weeks: Curiosity, Humility, Honor, Patience, Equanimity, Silence, and Truth. If you like, you can say the following blessing each day as you engage in the ritual of counting the Omer. It is customary to count the new day of the Omer at sunset (similar to other Jewish holidays, this time period is marked on the lunar, Hebrew calendar). Thus, one should recite the blessing, followed by the counting of the day, after sunset.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר   

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav vitzivanu al s'firat ha-omer.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us with mitzvot, and commands us concerning the counting of the Omer. Today is the___________ day, which is ____________ weeks and________ days of the Omer.

The Spirituality Committee thanks Rabbi Sam Trief for her leadership in identifying this resource, and to our colleagues and friends at Central Synagogue in New York City for providing permission for us to share it.

Weekly Reflection Guides

Week One: MARCH 28-APRIL 3

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide.

Week Two: APRIL 4-APRIL 10

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide.

Week Three: APRIL 11-APRIL 17

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide.

Week Four: APRIL 18-APRIL 24

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide.

Week Five: APRIL 25-MAY 1

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide.

Week Six: MAY 2-MAY 8

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide.

Week Seven: MAY 9-MAY 15

Click here for this week's Reflection Guide

Wed, April 21 2021 9 Iyar 5781