Counting the Omer is a spiritual practice that is profound and transformative, universal and entirely personal. It is the next step in the Passover experience as we move out from our newfound freedom and journey into the wilderness.
This year, in 2022, we start with day one the evening of the second seder, Saturday, April 16.
Every spring as bulbs begin to peek out of the soil from their long winter nap, we relive an epic story that is newly relevant each year and in each generation.
On the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Israelites journey from the narrow place of slavery into freedom.
In telling this story every Passover we remind ourselves and our children that freedom is possible.
We do not have to stay stuck. We can join hands and move.
This paradigmatic story of the Israelites and its themes of liberation are reflected in other cultures in music and poetry and prayer. The motif is both universal and entirely personal.
The story invites us to reflect on our own narrow places and how to take the first steps into expansion on our own behalf.
The entire Exodus experience provides a guiding metaphor for each individual who seeks to untie themselves from the many ways we are enslaved or are bound up in shackles of our own making.
This powerful story and its metaphors have wings that fly after the seder.
Being released and redeemed from how we are bound is only the beginning.
Now, we must venture into the unknown as we make our way towards Wisdom.
Counting the Omer/Sefirat HaOmer
For seven weeks (forty-nine days) commencing the second night of Passover, we count each day until our arrival at Mt. Sinai, on the festival of Shavuot. Shavuot, is when we are given and receive Torah/Wisdom.
Here, we get a map of how to live our lives in our freedom.
This spiritual practice of counting these 49 days is known as “Counting the Omer/Sefirat HaOmer.”
It is a time of soul development. It mirrors the reflection we do during the month of Elul, which precedes the fall High Holy Days.
The goal is to reflect on how we can move beyond our current limits and become our best selves.
About Journey & the Urgency of Now
Some journeys we choose. Other journeys choose us. This year, each of us has traveled a journey we did not choose as we continued to navigate through the pandemic with all its uncertainty.
As we (hopefully) begin to emerge from this year of challenge, it is time to take stock of what you have learned.
Although it might be tempting, I urge you not to “move on” without exploring the journey you have taken this past year.
Come Journey With Us
There are several ways:
1) Download this free *updated* workbook. You can begin at any time. One question each day for seven weeks:
Journey: An Omer Workbook,
Your Guide for the 49 Days of Counting
2) Sign up for a free Omer Journey Workshop where you will learn about the seven stages of spiritual journeying. April 26 or April 28.
3-session in-depth course
– offered at two different times:
Tuesdays May 3, 10, 17th at 5:00 pm PST (8 pm EST)
Thursdays May 5, 12, 19th at 9:30 am PST (12:30 pm EST)
Blessings to you. I hope to see you!
PS – You do not need to be Jewishly knowledgeable or Jewish. The themes are relatable for every person on a spiritual journey.