Counting the Omer – Day 1

Join the Green Team, the Member Connection committee and your Temple community in counting the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot. As we count, we will learn how we can connect to our Jewish traditions and care for the Earth by the simple act of composting. We will also learn a little bit about why Jews count the Omer (what is an Omer anyway?) and how this all fits with our Lag b’Omer celebration.

We will begin the counting at the end of the 2nd night seder on April 16 and count together every day through June 3.

Farmer inspecting agricultural field and control quality of barley crop before harvesting. Female hand touching ripe cereal plant.

Counting the Omer – Feeding the Land, not the Landfill

The counting of the Omer, which begins at the conclusion of the second night seder, is traditionally the period of the barley harvest. Though today the vast majority of us are not preparing our fields for barley, we can embrace the idea of a period of contemplation just as our ancestors wandered in the desert between Passover and Shavuot (the traditional time at which our ancestors received the 10 Commandments). 

Why embrace this ancient counting of the Omer? Not just because it is tradition but rather because we recognize as Americans in the 21st century that we need to take time to recognize the passing of days. To truly see the change of the seasons. Our impact on our environment and its impact on us.

If you need guidance learning more about counting the Omer, Rabbi Schicker highly recommends the book/cards/app by Rabbi Karyn Kedar available from CCAR Press, all called Omer: A Counting (iOS and Android). 

Adapted from Rabbi Schicker’s column in the April Newsletter

Blessing for Day One

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, Sovereign of the universe, who makes us holy with mitzvot, and commands us concerning the counting of the Omer.

.הַיּוֹם יוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹֽמֶר

Hayom yom echad la-omer.
Today is one day of the Omer.

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