Count for this day in the evening of the date listed 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 12 of the Omer: qualities of focus
The second week of the Omer is focused on healthy boundaries and discipline (gevurah).
The fifth day of the week is focused on splendor, wonder, and humility (hod).
The twelfth day of the Omer is focused on splendor, humility, and the discipline of patiently allowing things to unfold.
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 shnayim-asar yom, shehem shavua echad v’chamishah yamim la-omer.
Today is twelve days, which marks one week 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 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.
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.
They also often referenced the Tree of Life upon which the sefirot were 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!
hod b’gevurah: wonder, humility, and the patience of unfolding
Transformation can be breathtaking and yet its unfolding go unnoticed. A caterpillar winds its cocoon, blending with its environment while the mysterious process of re-creation unfurls itself within. It waits for months, and when its old parts are no longer needed and its wings are fully formed it patiently pokes its way back through the very container it created for protection and it ﬂies away. But that isn’t the end of its journey. It might use its new mode of transport to carry its small body thousands of miles on the skyway of its forebears a path imprinted in its being like the bold colors of it wings. Transformation, in the end, is breathtaking. Once it has occurred, the change may be used to connect to those who have come before us, those around us now, and those who will follow. Consider a change you are making or wish to make. What people, or circumstances, or internal discipline do you need? How can you hold yourself tenderly as you wait for the “aha” of ﬂying away on new wings? Linger a while at the 12th Gate, and behold the splendor that awaits you.
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!