Counting the Omer for Beginners

Inspired by new friends from the blog world, I decided to try my hand at counting the Omer this year, the 49 day count that began on the second night of Passover and goes through Shavuot.    I had heard about it before and this year was inspired by the Omer counters from the Midianite Mama and Amy Meltzer’s idea on Homeshuling.  And given that I have lots of my own sewing supplies, I decided to jump in and make my own Omer counter.

I decided against using candy in mine. We had too many sweets during Passover and I try to limit sugar to more occasional treats.   After reading a little bit about the tradition of counting the omer, I decided to make my own counter based on a tree theme.  The tree has seven branches for the seven weeks of counting, and each branch has 7 snaps, for the seven days.  Then I cut out lots of leaves and some birds and attached the other side of the snaps to those.  We snap a bird or leaf on the tree each day to keep count.   This is also designed for snap/fine motor practice and fun for the little ones.

As far as what to do, I turned to the traditionalists at Chabad and found this great resource at which I printed out as a daily guide.  There is something different to reflect on every day and it is very usable and easy to understand.   I poked around a little further and learned they are actually counting the Omer with daily updates on the Huffington Post, how cool is that?

And here is our Omer counter, this was a fun project and I got to use lots of leftover snaps from my diaper making days. The little pocket on the bottom is full of enough leaves and things to get us through the 49 days, unless they vanish around the house.  I will post another picture of it full, it will look prettier.

Want to join me? No sewing is needed. You can just mark up any calender counting 49 days from the second night of Passover our use this calender and blessing (or buy one from the Midianite Mama) .  Let me know, we can swap ideas via the Facebook page for the blog.

3 thoughts on “Counting the Omer for Beginners

  1. Dear Tanya and Scott. I am mostly new to your blog and CSA site so I was browsing this evening.
    Concerning counting the omer, there is a great description of the likely agricultural antecedent for the omer counting that was likely ;ater turned into the religious reasons. It is found in a book from Neot Kedumim called Nature IN Our Biblical Heritage.
    Starting from Pesach when the “wheat is in the Aviv” the wheat is very tender. It is also the time for the Chamsin to come and, if it does, the wheat can be destroyed and result in famine. The time of the Chamsin lasts about 50 days (note the similarity to 50, Chamishim). So they would count off those 49 days praying that the wheat would survive. After the 49 days, the wheat is strong enough to survive a Chamsin.
    I am always fascinated by the historic agricultural basis for so many religious events.
    Leonard Koenick

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