Rabbi David Paskin
Make it Count
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From Rabbi David
Beginning on the second day of Passover until the holiday of Shavuot (50 days later) there is a Jewish tradition of formally counting each and every day. It's called "Counting the Omer." This period marks the beginning of the barley harvest when, in ancient times, Jews would bring the first sheaves to the Temple as a means of thanking God for the harvest. The word omer literally means “sheaf” and refers to these early offerings.
The Torah itself dictates the counting of the seven weeks following Passover:
“You shall count from the eve of the second day of Pesach, when an omer of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks. The day after the seventh week of your counting will make fifty days, and you shall present a new meal offering to God (Leviticus 23:15-16).”
What I love about the counting of the Omer isn't so much the Biblical roots of the ritual but the meaning it offers me today. Taking, literally, 30 seconds each evening to stop and mark that this day has passed. It allows me to reflect for even just a moment, on what I may have accomplished - or what opportunities I may have let slip by. By offering the blessing for counting the Omer, I transform my reflection into a sacred act of awareness and gratitude.
It is so easy to allow time to pass and miss the blessings in each moment. Perhaps you'd like to take a few moments tonight to count the Omer, or at the very least, make your day count.
Here's the app I use to help me remember, each day, to count the Omer: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/omer-counter-assistant/id977793369