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 9: qualities of focus
The second week of the Omer is focused on healthy boundaries and discipline (gevurah).
The second day of the week is also focused on healthy boundaries and discipline (gevurah).
The ninth day of the Omer is about nurturing the discipline of healthy boundaries.
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 tishah yamim shehem shavua echad u-shnei yamim la-omer.
Today is nine days, which marks one week 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 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!
Gevurah b’gevurah: the practice of healthy boundaries
The sod is laid neatly in a rounded pattern in a small area of the carefully designed yard. Stepping stones encircle it, small grasses, ﬂowering plants, woolly thyme. An intimate portrait is drawn, three concentric circles embrace one another, warmth, love, determination. At night the raccoons come for a midnight snack of the grubs beneath the sod. Their adept determined claws lift the sod neatly at the corners, folding it back like little blankets to expose what’s beneath. In the morning the people grumble as they re-place the sod, tuck it back within its tidy borders. Next night the raccoons return. The people try everything they can think of to secure their borders cayenne pepper, water spray, netting secured with tent stakes. Nothing works until they stake the net so tight that mowing the small yard takes an hour. One day the raccoons grow tired of this game, go elsewhere. The grass takes hold. What do you need to grow safely? What do you need to eat and what can you forego to allow the growth of others? Move thoughtfully, taking care not to trip on the netting, and make your way through the 9th 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!