The What, How and Which Of Counting The Omer

Etz Hayim runs project known as Omer Learning that encourages us to count the omer (as well do some learning). This begs a few questions, mainly: What’s an omer and how do you count it?

What’s an omer?

Judiasm 101 answers the first question:

According to the Torah (Lev. 23:15), we are obligated to count the days from Passover to Shavu’ot. This period is known as the Counting of the Omer. An omer is a unit of measure. On the second day of Passover, in the days of the Temple, an omer of barley was cut down and brought to the Temple as an offering. This grain offering was referred to as the Omer.

Every night, from the second night of Passover to the night before Shavu’ot, we recite a blessing and state the count of the omer in both weeks and days. So on the 16th day, you would say “Today is sixteen days, which is two weeks and two days of the Omer.”

How do you count the omer?

The actual procedure for counting the omer is as follows:

1. One stands when counting the omer, and begins by reciting the following blessing:

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’Olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tizivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to count the omer.

2. After the blessing, one recites the appropriate day of the count. For example:

Today is the first day of the omer.

After the first six days, one also includes the number of weeks that one has counted. For example:

Today is thirteen days, which is one week and six days of the omer

How do I keep track of the omer?

With all these days to count, it’s easy to get mixed up. So join the Omer Learning project and we’ll send you a daily reminder as to what day we’re on. Plus, you’ll get some bonus knowledge. All for free!

You can join Omer Learning in a number of ways. If you want to get a daily e-mail, sign up here:

Join the Omer Learning E-mail List

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If Twitter is your thing, follow @omerlearning.

If you’d like to get notified via text message, then follow these instructions:

Send: follow omerlearning to phone number 40404

If all else fails, mail omerlearning@gmail.com.

Happy Counting!

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