On the second night of Passover, we begin counting the days until Shavuot. Learn how to participate in this mitzvah and take Rabbi Cosgrove’s Omer Challenge.
Sefirat Ha’Omer: Easy as 1-2-3!
Sefirat ha’Omer, or the Counting the Omer, is a practice that comes from our agrarian roots, marking the beginning and end of the grain harvest. By verbally counting each day between Passover and Shavuot, we remember the journey our ancestors took from freedom to revelation and affirm the potential for rebirth and renewal in our own lives.
How to Count the Omer
We begin counting on the second night of Passover and will continue for 49 days until Shavuot. We do this each evening after sundown.
It is customary to stand when counting the Omer if you are able. First you recite the following blessing:
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu meleh ha-olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav vitzivanu al s'firat ha-omer.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us with mitzvot and commands us concerning the counting of the Omer.
And then you state the number, which is counted in both days (e.g. “Today is 23 days of the Omer”) and weeks and days (e.g. “which is three weeks and two days of the Omer”), beginning with one and continuing to 49!
Counting in Solidarity
The Omer Challenge
Last year, Rabbi Cosgrove challenged us to reach out to people to build social solidarity during the Omer, the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. The following prompts will help guide you on your journey over the next seven weeks. The themes are just suggestions – making connections is what is most important.
- Week 1: People you have known for a long time.
- Week 2: People you would like to know better.
- Week 3: People you have mentored or who has mentored you.
- Week 4: People you have met through PAS or you would like to invite to the community.
- Week 5: People who have inspired you.
- Week 6: People who have taught you something.
- Week 7: People who have done something kind for you this year.