April 18, 2012

The Omer Count-Up Begins!

Posted by Haggadot

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Passover 2012 is done, but the counting has just begun…

The second night of Passover starts the counting of the Omer. This period, which lasts 49 days, ends on the holiday of Shavuot. Traditionally, every evening for seven weeks, one stands and says a blessing followed by the Omer counting (the number changes as each day passes).

Omer refers to the recently harvested grains, which in the days of the Temple were brought as an offering. There is a somber tone to the Omer so you may see traditionalists forgoing weddings and joyous events – even passing on haircuts and shaving – during this period.

An interesting aspect of the counting is that it starts with one and goes UP! One way to look at this time is as a chance to ponder and appreciate what we have – counting our blessings, as it were. There can be many meaningful practices that one might incorporate in to counting the Omer, but it is for sure a time for reflection…another good opportunity!

If you are looking for a friendly guide to counting…this one is from Moses.