Counting the Omer Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on counting the omer.


Blogs

Lag B’Omer and Vegetarianism: Making Every Day Count

This article was co-authored with Dan Brook. Lag B'Omer is considered a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, but even a minor holiday is still a holiday and therefore worth celebrating. A great way to celebrate Lag B'Omer is through vegetarianism, as Lag B'Omer is deeply connected to the Earth and its fruits. Lag B'Omer represents the 33rd day of the counting of the omer, the fifty days between Passover and Shavuot, reminding us of the link between these two important holidays. While Passover celebrates our freedom from slavery, Shavuot celebrates our receiving of ...

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Lag B’Omer & Vegetarianism (or Veganism): Making Every Day Count

By Daniel Brook & Richard H. Schwartz Lag B’Omer is considered a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, but even a minor holiday is worth celebrating. A great way to celebrate Lag B’Omer is through veganism, as Lag B’Omer is deeply connected to veganism. If not quite ready for veganism, a shift to vegetarianism would be a great initial step. Lag B’Omer represents the 33rd day of the counting of the omer, the fifty days from Passover and Shavuot, reminding us of the link between these two holidays. While Passover celebrates our freedom from slavery, Shavuot ...

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Preparing to Count the Omer

We are counting down the days to Passover, to our journey out of slavery and into freedom. And then, on the second night of Passover, we will begin counting in a serious way, we will begin counting the Omer. With the Counting of the Omer count seven weeks of seven days - 49 days - from crossing into freedom to receiving the Torah, from redemption to revelation, from Passover to Shavuot, from the Sea of Reeds to the Mountain of Sinai, from the depths of despair to the heights of joy, from physical enslavement to spiritual freedom, from the barley harvest ...

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Uplifting People and Planet

Exciting news! Just in time for Tu b’Shevat, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to announce the launch of a new ebook exploring traditional Jewish teachings on the environment, Uplifting People and Planet: Eighteen Essential Jewish Lessons on the Environment, edited by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Evonne Marzouk. This ebook is the most comprehensive study in English of how Jewish traditional sources teach us to protect our natural resources and preserve the environment. From food to trees, energy to water, wealth to biodiversity, the book studies eighteen ...

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Lag B’Omer and Vegetarianism

Lag B’Omer & Vegetarianism: Making Every Day Count Daniel Brook & Richard H. Schwartz Lag B’Omer, which begins after sundown on Saturday, April 27 in 2013, is considered a minor Jewish holiday, but even a minor holiday provides valuable lessons and is worth celebrating. A great way to celebrate Lag B’Omer is through vegetarianism, as Lag B’Omer has many vegetarian connections. Lag B’Omer represents the 33rd day of the counting of the omer, the 49 days from the second day of Passover and Shavuot, reminding us of the ...

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Rosh Chodesh Iyyar: Seeing Ourselves Among the Barley

Blog post by Josh Boydstun, Jewish Farm School Rabbinic Intern ——————————————————————————————- During the month of Iyyar (April 10-May 9, 2013), we traditionally engage in S’firat Ha’omer (“The Counting of the Omer”), which begins on the second day of Pesach (the 16th of Nissan) and ends on the festival of Shavu’ot (the 6th of Sivan). This intervening ...

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Day 49 of the Omer

On this last day of counting the Omer, this seventh day of the sixth week, which gives us seven full weeks, we consider Malchut in Malchut - Leadership in Leadership, the ultimate in leadership. Tonight, or some clear night soon, I invite you to step outside, lie down on the ground on your back, and look up at the stars. When you do, you will see celestial bodies that have been where they are for billions of years. You will gaze at a night sky that people have been gazing at since the beginning of human kind. Perhaps you will see constellations. ...

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Day 48 of the Omer

On this penultimate day of counting the Omer, we consider the attributes of Y'sod in Malchut, Bonding in Leadership. When we look up at the sky on a clear night, we see a milky section of the expanse of stars, what we have dubbed the Milky Way, which we all know contains no milk and is not a candy bar! It is, rather, our view of the galaxy in which we live - a rotating group of gases and dust and hundreds of billions of stars bound together by the force of gravity. When we stand outside and look skyward, the Milky Way looks like it is far away, but ...

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Day 47 of the Omer

Today we reach the fifth day of the seventh week, and we focus on Hod in Malchut, Humility in Leadership. In gazing at the stars, we often see "stars" that are not really stars. At times, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn shine in the evening, night, or early morning sky near the horizon, and to the naked eye they look exactly like bright stars. In fact, these "stars" are planets, and the light they seem to give off is actually the result of their illumination by the Sun. Unlike the Moon, they appear as dots or "stars" ...

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Day 46 of the Omer

On this fourth day of the seventh week of counting the Omer, we turn our thoughts to Netzach in Malchut, Endurance in Leadership. Our Sun is a star, and by star standards it is no big deal. There are many other stars that are similar to it. But for those of us here on Earth, it is the Sun that counts, it is the Sun that makes life possible. One could say that the Sun is middle-aged. It is about 4.5 billion years old, and it will continue to burn hydrogen for another 5 billion years or so. In terms of a human life, or even all human life, ...

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Day 45 of the Omer

Today we consider the Divine Attributes of Tiferet in Malchut - Harmony in Leadership, as we reach the third day of the seventh week of the Omer. The stars are in the sky all the time, during the day and at night, we just can't see them during the day because the light of our star, the Sun, is so bright, not because it is so big, but because it is so close to us, a mere 93 million miles, or 8.2 light-minutes, away. Only at night can we see the stars, and the darker the night, the more we see. If the full moon is shining, it diminishes our ability ...

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Day 44 of the Omer

On this second day of the last week of counting the Omer, we focus on Gevuarh in Malchut - Restraint in Leadership. The amount of energy involved in the Big Bang was so unbelievably huge as to be beyond our comprehension. Today, the brightest events in the sky - those releasing the most energy - are supernovae, or exploding stars, which also involve an unfathomable (though significantly smaller) amount of energy, so much energy, in fact, that they may outshine all the stars in their galaxy. Even if we can't see a galaxy from Earth, we might be able ...

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Day 43 of the Omer

Today we begin the last week of counting the Omer, and all during this week, as we count the last seven days until Revelation, we focus on Malchut - Leadership, beginning with Chesed in Malchut, Lovingkindness in Leadership. And this week we focus on the stars. When we look into the night sky, we see only a tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy, and there are billions of other galaxies out there that we also can't see, each of which has billions of stars. All the matter in that distant space beyond what we can see and in those stars and galaxies ...

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Day 42 of the Omer

As we reach the end of the fifth week of counting the Omer, we focus on the Divine Attributes of Malchut in Y'sod, Leadership in Bonding. As I walk through the woods today, I am suddenly struck by the dead trees. They are dead, certainly, and yet they are home to so much life. Most readily visible are the bracket fungi I see on some, forming small shelves all the way up the still-standing tree trunk. In one place, I see the remains of a tree so thoroughly decayed and integrated into the forest floor that it is barely recognizable as a fallen tree. ...

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Day 41 of the Omer

On this sixth day of the fifth week of counting the Omer, we consider Y'sod in Y'sod - Bonding in Bonding. Some trees are covered with large, bright, decorative blossoms in the spring - magnolias, flowering dogwoods, cherry trees, flowering crab apples. These and others we plant in our yards and parks so we can enjoy their showy blooms. We plant oaks and maples and beeches for shade and spruce and fir for their gracious shapes and evergreen needles. The pine trees we complain about their thick pollen and the needles we must rake in the fall. ...

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Day 40 of the Omer

On this 40th day of the Omer, we focus on the Divine Attributes of Hod in Y'sod, Humility in Bonding. Every year that a tree grows, a new layer or ring of wood forms around the trunk, just under the bark. A tree generally produces one layer of wood each year, comprised of two rings of slightly different colors. The light-colored section is the spring and summer growth. The darker, denser wood is the fall and winter growth. The alternation of the light and dark make the rings visible. When a tree is cut down, we can count the rings of the ...

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Day 39 of the Omer

On this 39th day of the Omer, we reflect on Endurance in Bonding - Netzach in Y'sod. The fall foliage in New England is stunning. Bright reds and oranges and yellows take one's breath away. In the Midwest, where oaks predominate, the colors are more subdued - yellows, yes, but softer shades of burgundy, salmon, and coral, and much less commonly the brilliant scarlet, crimson, and tangerine that we see here. But no matter what color the leaves turn in the autumn, sooner or later they all fall to the ground. Left behind are bare trees, less ...

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Day 38 of the Omer

On this third day of the sixth week of the Omer we focus on Tiferet in Y'sod, Harmony in Bonding. Biomes are large geographical areas of the world, each with distinctive plants and animals that are adapted to the particular climate and geography of the area. Forest biomes include tropical forests, temperate forests, and boreal forests, also known as the taiga. I love these words: boreal, taiga. Boreal - of or pertaining to the north. Taiga, from the Russian. Both words carry a sense of mystery as I think of those vast cold wildernesses that ...

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Day 37 of the Omer

Today we consider the Divine Attributes of Gevurah in Y'sod, Restraint in Bonding, as we count the 37th day of the Omer. I think of the majestic redwoods of the Pacific coast. They are so tall that it is impossible to see their crowns, and some are so big around that a car can drive through the middle. How do water and nutrients climb to the top of these trees? I think of early spring in New England, and the buckets - or plastic tubing - attached to sugar maple trees, catching the rising sap. How does the sap flow against the force of gravity? The upward ...

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Day 36 of the Omer

Today we begin a new week, the sixth week of counting the Omer, and for this first day of the week we consider Chesed in Y'sod, Lovingkindness in Bonding. During this sixth week, trees will provide our inspiration, beginning with oak trees. Growing up in the Midwest, I learned about "oak openings." Oak openings occurred as a result of fires that in the past regularly swept across the prairie land of southern Wisconsin, where I lived as a child. In some areas, the result of these fires was a prairie that wasn't a totally open vista. These prairies ...

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