Count for this day in the evening of the date shown above.
Counting the Omer began the second night of Passover, which was on April 9, 2020. The last day of counting is May 27, 2020.
day 16 of the Omer: qualities of focus
The third week of the Omer is focused on beauty and balance (Tiferet). The quality of Tiferet is particularly about the balancing of open-heartedness, and the discipline of healthy boundaries.
The second day of the week is focused on strength, discipline, and healthy boundaries (Gevurah).
The sixteenth day of the Omer is about the beauty and balance found in healthy boundaries and discipline.
the blessing for counting the Omer
It’s traditional to say a blessing each evening, followed by reciting which day it is in the Omer journey. Here’s the blessing in English, feminized Hebrew, and the traditional 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.
here’s today’s count, in Hebrew (transliterated), and English.
Ha-yom shishah-asar yom, shehem shnei shavuot u-shnei yamim la-omer.
Today is sixteen days, which marks two weeks and two days 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 and count using Hebrew text, 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.
The kabbalists often used the image of gates to describe the portals of consciousness represented by the sefirot, and that’s reflected in the ending to each of the meditations.
The kabbalists also often referenced the Tree of Life, upon which the sefirot are represented by the trunk and branches.
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!
Gevurah b’tiferet: the balancing power of Love writ large
February, 2004 - thousands of couples line up at San Francisco City Hall, join the call to love and justice, put out by the Mayor to same-sex couples everywhere. Hosts of lovers, ranks of revelers! The power is palpable. A blanket of blessing warms the entire city. Gevurah is the discipline needed to win wars, but could we transform Gevurah so thoroughly that hundreds of people lined up in a long string of pairs and clusters would not foretell destruction, but would instead be assumed a harbinger of harmonious intimacy, compassionate discipline, steadfast communion? How do you, how can we, create connections that line up in the name of both justice and love? Pose this question to yourself, or ask someone else. Link arms and march together through the 16th Gate.
Copyright Shifrah Tobacman, 2012.
prefer to hold a book in your hand?
You might be interested in Rabbi Shifrah’s collection Omer/Teshuvah: 49 Poetic Meditations for Counting the Omer or Turning Toward a New Year. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy!