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The Omer Count

The Omer Count

Do you count? Here is how.

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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.”

How:

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.”

And conclude:

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.

Click here to sign up for daily Omer email reminders.

Details:

  • 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.
Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Anonymous May 6, 2015

I'm just staying to learn about Torah and would really want to follow His commandments as He instructed. This article is truly helpful. Thank you. Reply

Anonymous April 3, 2015

Super helpful! Thanks for posting this! Reply

Lillian Salis Downey, Calif May 3, 2012

great site Reply

Rabbi Menachem Posner May 18, 2011

RE: restriction history?? The first mention of tragedy--and therefore mourning--during this time is in the Talmudic era accounts of the death of Rabbi Akiva's students. Over the years, there were many other tragedies that struck the Jewish people during this time period, enforcing--and intensifying--the ensuring mourning. Reply

Anonymous lost angeles, california May 18, 2011

restriction history?? when did the omer restrictions come into play? what is the timeline (did they all come into play at the same time)?? Reply

Nadav Melbourne April 13, 2010

mourning restrictions anonymous, click Omer Mourning Observances in the box on the right side at the top of the page Reply

Anonymous Baltimore March 30, 2010

Any Restrictions During the Omer? Are there any restrictions that are observed during the counting of the Omer? I've heard that we don't clip fingernails, cut hair, shave or wear leather shoes -- are these correct, are there any others? Are the fingernail/hair cut/shaving restrictions lifted for preparation/honor of Shabbat? Reply

Kelly Rae Sydney, AU April 27, 2009

Email reminder! Chabad.org spoils us so much! Thank you for this great article and also the link to the email reminder.

I appreciate this website so much. Reply

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