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 23 of the Omer: qualities of focus
The fourth week of the Omer is focused on Endurance (Netzach). The quality of Netzach is about how we endure, and about what endures in our lives, and in the world around us. It’s also about the enduring nature of the Divine.
The second day of the week is focused on Strength, Healthy Boundaries, and Discipline (Gevurah).
The twenty-third day of the Omer is focused on the strength, discipline, and ultimately, the love of self and others, that it can take to endure what we need to endure.
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 shloshah v’es’rim yom, shehem shloshah shavuot u-shnei yamim la-omer.
Today is twenty-three days, which marks three 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’netzach: the strength to endure – whatever that may mean in this moment
If you ride a bicycle in windy conditions you can minimize the impact, or use the wind to your advantage. Keep your torso low, eyes straight ahead when going against the wind, or when the wind is buffeting you from the side, so it ﬂows over you like water off a duck’s back. When the wind is at your back don’t forget to enjoy the ride. If going downhill be sure to say “whee!” If your climb is steep and long and you have run through the gears on your bike, and you are tired, and still need to reach your destination, remember you can always get off and walk. And if you don't ride a bike, or use your legs to walk, you may still ﬁnd a way to traverse the windy passage. Consider the winds on your path today, the ascents and descents, and ride, or walk, or otherwise travel through the 23rd 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!