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 18 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 fourth day of the week is focused on endurance (Netzach).
The eighteenth day of the Omer reminds us of Life’s enduring nature, of the ongoing renewal that can found in each day, even when our own lives, our own days, may feel out of balance.
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 shmonahah-asar yom, shehem shnei shavuot v’arba-ah yamim la-omer.
Today is eighteen days, which marks two weeks and four 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!
Netzach b’tiferet: the enduring nature of be-ing
Y-H-V-H is Be-ing, It endures. That is the nature of Being. You are a spark of the Divine, “a good thought in the Divine mind”, no more, no less. What do you love about your own enduring nature? Carry your beautiful self through this, the 18th 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!