The Count Begins

Counting-the-Omer

Counting of the Omer began as an ancient Jewish agricultural ritual marking each of the 49 days as the Israelites’ journeyed from bondage in Egypt to revelation at Mount Sinai.

For the Jewish mystics of the 16th and 17th centuries, the Counting of the Omer became a time of spiritual cleansing preparing their souls to receive divine guidance on Shavuot.

These days it is possible to use the counting as a 49-day mindfulness practice to renew our nefesh, ruach and neshamah- the layers of body, mind and soul- to live more compassionate lives. Using the mystical tradition, we divide the 49 days into seven one-week periods, each containing a specific spiritual quality according to the 10 sefirot or Divine Emanations. On each of the 49 days, two of the qualities intersect with each other so that each day is unique.

1. Chesed of Chesed: generosity vs. lack of boundaries
2. Gevruah of Chesed: strength that enables generosity
3. Tiferet of Chesed: compassion of generosity
4. Netzach of Chesed: perseverance in generous
5. Hod of Chesed: sincerity of generosity
6. Yesod of Chesed: connecting to the task of being generous
7. Malchut of Chesed: accepting and including generosity
8. Chesed of Gevurah: kindness in strength
9. Gevurah of Gevurah: strength vs. rigidity
10. Tiferet of Gevurah: balance and mercy with strength
11. Netzach of Gevurah: persistence with strength
12. Hod of Gevurah: surrender as an expression of strength
13. Yesod of Gevurah: focused intention applied with strength
14. Malchut of Gevurah: receptivity as an expression of strength
15-21. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Tiferet: compassion
22-28. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied Netzah: perseverance
29-35. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Hod: surrender
36-42. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Yesod: intention and connection
43-49. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Malchut: receptivity and nurturance

Here are three different links to enhance your 49 day experience: one for Chabad, The Meaningful Life Center of NYC, and Reconstruction Rabbi Yael Levy from Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia.



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