Count for this day the evening of the date posted above.
Counting the Omer begins the second night of Passover, which is April 9, 2020. The last day of counting is May 27, 2020.
You can learn more about the history and practice of counting the Omer here.
day1: qualities of focus
The first week of the Omer is focused on loving-kindness (chesed).
The first day of each week is also focused on loving-kindness (chesed).
We begin the Omer journey with a double dose of loving-kindness!
the blessing for counting the Omer
It’s traditional to say a blessing each evening, followed by reciting which day it is in the seven week Omer journey. I’ve provided a version in English, one using feminized language for God, and one using the tradition (masculine) Hebrew.
Use whichever Hebrew and/or English versions work for you!
English version of the blessing
Blessed are you, Eternal One-ness, Source and Breath of All Life, that has made us holy with your mitzvot, and compels us to count the Omer.
If you prefer feminine God language in Hebrew:
בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בִּמְצַוְּתָהּ וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר
B’rukhah at Yah Eloheynu khay ha’olamim asher kideshatnu bemitzvoteha vetzivatnu al sefirat ha’omer.
If you prefer masculine God language, or just like the traditional way of saying the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר
Baruch ata adonai, eloheynu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al seﬁrat ha-omer.
Each morning, I’ll post the blessing and which day of the Omer is being counted next (after sunset that day.)
Here’s today’s count, in Hebrew (transliterated), and English.
Ha-yom yom echad la-omer.”
“Today is the first day of the Omer.”
Let me know if you have any questions. I’ve never done this before via blog post, and need your help to make sure everything works!
prefer Hebrew script?
If you prefer to read the blessing in Hebrew, check out this app.
Or look in your favorite siddur (prayer book). It can often be found at the end of the evening service.
today’s poetic meditation
I’m posting a poetic meditation for each day to enhance the journey. Each meditation is focused on the kabbalistic qualities (sefirot) associated with the day.
Some people like to read the meditations when they say the blessing at night. Others like to contemplate them in the morning to provide spiritual nourishment for the day’s activities.
Experiment, and see what works for you!
chesed b’chesed: starting with love
Take a breath. Look around. Hear the shofar, the sound of the ram's horn, beckon from another time of year, calling you to kindness, to strength, to balance, calling on your endurance, wonder, gratitude, calling for your creativity, your presence. Awaken to it. Let it open you to beauty, even in difﬁcult times. Take in the goodness that surrounds you. Kindness rests within kindness. This is the platform from which we begin our ascent. Notice the journey you have already taken. Look back at the terrain. Remember its variations, its constancies. Turn again and look ahead. The mountain on the horizon is your heart’s deepest wisdom. Take time to notice its shape and size from afar, the path to reach it. Feel the ground beneath your feet, trust the earth which holds you, the Universal Generosity that contains within it all the kindnesses you have ever known, or could want to know. Step up to the ﬁrst gate, cross the threshold, and see what awaits.
Prefer to hold a book in your hand?
You can get Rabbi Shifrah’s book, “Omer/Teshuvah: 49 Poetic Meditations for Counting the Omer or Turning toward a New Year.” Inbterested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org .