The Omer: Meaning for Today

Making it count.

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Associations with the Seven Sefirot of the Omer Period.

["Sefirot" refers to the kabbalistic notion of the divine emanations.]

1. Chesed: Overflowing Loving kindness
2. G'vurah: Judgment, Justice, Rigor
3. Tiferet: Compassion, Beauty, Balance
4. Netzakh: Victory, Efficiency, Prevailing
5. Hod: Glory, Splendor
6. Y'sod: Foundation, Intimacy, Generativity
7. Malkhut: Majesty, God's Earthly Realm

How to Focus Each Day of the Omer

On the first day of the counting, work on chesed within chesed (the purest love within yourself). Day two: g'vurah within chesed (the anger within our love). And so forth.

On the second week, focus on g'vurah. Day Eight focus on chesed within g'vurah (the love inside judgement). And so on…

Thus goes the meditation.

A Word

The counting of the omer serves us as a link between Passover and Shavuot. It reminds us of the liberation we celebrated during Passover, and just how easy it is for us to slip back into slavery. Let each day of the 50 days bring us a moment of meditation, to work on our best selves and ready ourselves for receiving rules to live by (Torah) on Shavuot. May we learn how to make our lives easier, yet more meaningful as we celebrate in a small way each day, focusing on the important moments of life.

Happy counting!

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Rabbi Andrea Steinberger serves as a rabbi at the Hillel Foundation at the University of Wisconsin. Rabbi Steinberger received her ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1997 and her BA from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.