Post-Its | Rabbi’s Corner

Rabbi’s Corner: Counting the Omer

We are currently in the liminal time between the two holidays of Passover and Shavuot.  During these seven weeks, we are counting the Omer.  This period between Passover and Shavuot is not merely a calendar countdown; it can be a spiritual pilgrimage, a path of self-discovery and growth.  The practice of pausing every evening to review the previous day gives us the opportunity to reflect back, and then to look forward to the next day as we come closer and closer to celebrating Shavuot and receiving Torah anew.

The counting of the Omer is a practice deeply rooted in our tradition, originating from the commandment in Viyikra (Leviticus) 23:15-16. Yet, its significance extends far beyond its historical origins. It serves as a spiritual roadmap, guiding us from the liberation of Passover to the revelation of Torah on Shavuot.

Each day of the Omer is an opportunity and a sacred moment in time. It is a chance for introspection, reflection, and renewal. As we count the days, we are reminded of the preciousness of time itself, and the importance of making each moment count in our journey toward spiritual fulfillment.

Moreover, the Omer serves as a period of preparation. Just as the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness in anticipation of receiving the Torah at Sinai, so too do we have an opportunity to review the day. What went well? In what ways are you proud of yourself or your actions? What can you improve upon? What do you want to do better next time?  How can you get more and do more for others and your community.

Like all aspects of Jewish practice, the counting of the Omer is not a solitary endeavor. It is a communal experience—a shared experience that binds us together as a people. Even in your own home, when you count the Omer, you are connected to thousands of people who for thousands of years have counted each day. Further, you are connected to Jews around the word who are counting up to Shavuot as well.  As we recite the blessings each evening, we are reminded of the strength and resilience of our community, and the power of unity.

As we journey from Passover to Shavuot, let us embrace the opportunities for growth and transformation. Let us approach each day with intentionality and purpose, mindful of the blessings that surround us and the sacredness of our tradition.

May this season of counting be a time of renewal and inspiration for us all. And as we stand on the threshold of Shavuot, may we be ready to receive the Torah anew, with open hearts and eager spirits.

May the journey of the Omer lead us ever closer to the divine presence, and may we emerge from this sacred time renewed, refreshed, and ready to embrace the blessings of Shavuot.