Sefirat Ha’Omer 101

6 years ago Risa Mond 0

The Sefirat Ha’Omer, the counting of the Omer, is personally one of my favorite times of the year. Through the Sefirat Ha’Omer, we are able to take a few minutes out of every day to complete a simple mitzvah, self-reflect, and look deeper into our souls.

In the Torah, the holiday Shavuot is not given a specific date; rather, it is only told that Shavuot takes place 49 days after Pesach. “And you shall count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete” (Vayikra 23:15). So, we count 49 days beginning from the day on which the Omer, a sacrifice containing an Omer-measure of barley, was offered in the Beis HaMikdash.

Shavuos marks the day the Jewish people received and accepted the Torah. By counting the days we are able to prepare ourselves and anticipate the days leading up to this very sacred and pivotal time in our history. These 49 days are a potential for inner-growth, a time for us to work on ourselves through development and deliberation of one aspect for each day.

In Tanya, we learn that there are 10 Sefirot, 10 attributes that G-d reveals himself through. There are the 3 “mother” Sefirot, which are developed through the mind. Your mind is what controls your feelings and everything about you.

1 Chokhmah– “Wisdom”

2 Binah – “Understanding”

3 Daat – “Knowledge”

And then there are the 7 “baby” Sefirot. These are called the “babies” because all 7 are created through the 3 “mother” Sefirot.

4 Chesed – “Kindness”

5 Gevurah – “Severity”

6 Tiferet – “Beauty”

7 Netzach – “Endurance”

8 Hod– “Glory”

9 Yesod – “Foundation”

10 Malkuth – “Royalty”

Each day of each week during this interval is associated with one of these same seven sefirot, creating forty-nine permutations. So, for example, the first day of the Omer is therefore associated with “chesed that is in chesed” (lovingkindness within lovingkindness), the second day with “gevurah that is in chesed” (severity within kindness), and so on.

Sefirat Ha’Omer is about more than just counting down to Shavous; it is a time to elevate oneself, and work on your personal refinement in a physical and spiritual way. For the next 5 ½ weeks, I challenge each and everyone of you to make every day about more than just doing school work, or mindlessly social networking; make this a time where you seriously delve into who you are as a person, and even change your outlook on other things

To learn more about the Sefirat Ha’Omer and countdown, download the MyOmer app, or go to Chabad.org.