After leaving Egypt on the first day of Passover, we counted 49 days in eager suspense. Then, on the 50th day, we assembled in the same spot where G‑d first spoke with Moses, and we received the Torah.
Why 49 days? The Kabbalah describes 49 facets that make up the human character. Each day that we counted, another facet of our nature was uplifted, bringing us one step closer to receiving the divine transmission to humankind.
Each day that we counted, another facet of our nature was uplifted
Each year, we retrace this inner journey. Beginning on the second night of Passover, we count the days and weeks until the 50th day, the holiday of Shavuot, when we receive the Torah once again. We call it the “Counting of the Omer.”
After nightfall, stand and say:
Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.
Then count the day:
“Today is one day of the Omer”; “Today is two days of the Omer”; “Today is seven days, which are one week of the Omer”; “Today is eighteen days, which are two weeks and four days of the Omer”; and so on, till “Today is forty-nine days, which are seven weeks of the Omer.”
May the Merciful One restore for us the service of the Holy Temple to its place, speedily in our days; Amen, Selah.
Click here for the daily updated Omer count, along with the blessing and traditional prayers.
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- The custom is to count during the evening prayers, but it can be done all night.
- Forgot to count the Omer? Count the following day, but without a blessing. On the next nights, continue counting as usual.
- Missed counting in the daytime, as well? Continue counting the rest of the nights, but without a blessing.