Chessed Alaska

Counting the Omer

What is Counting the Omer?

IPR (Inner Personal Reflection)
The commandment to “count the Omer” is to count the days between Pesach and Shavuot. The Torah states that from the day the “wave offering”, or Omer, was brought (on the second day of Passover, Pesach) we should count each day for forty-nine days, which brings us right to the holiday of Shavuot on the fiftieth day. It is customary to perform the count of the Omer during the evening, spoken aloud.

The human soul has seven emotional attributes, each of which is itself a composite of all seven. They are:

1.  chessed (kindness)
2.  gevura (justice, discipline)
3.  tiferet (empathy, compassion)
4.  netzach (endurance)
5.  hod (humility)
6.  yesod (bonding, connection)
7.  malchut (majesty, dignity, leadership)

Since they are composites, we may speak of the chessed aspect of chessed, the gevura aspect of chessed, and so on all the way through the malchut aspect of malchut, giving a total of 49 specific emotional attributes of the soul. On each of the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot, by counting that day we draw down G-dly revelation from on high that makes it possible for that particular day’s aspect of our soul to be refined and elevated into holiness, until finally, by the end of the omer period, not just our G-dly soul neshama, but also our complete animal soul nefesh can be aroused to desire G-dliness.

Each day we meditate upon each of these questions we ask ourselves. It is a time of inner inspection.

In Week 1 we examine Kindness.

We say,

Today is Week 1, Day 1 of counting of the omer, we examine how kind is our kindness. Are we kind for the proper reasons or do we perform kind acts to be seen by man?

Today is Week 1 Day 2 of counting of the omer: We examine our discipline of kindness.  How disciplined are we in our acts of kindness?  Are we kind on a regular basis?  Or only when someone is watching?

Today is Week 1 Day 3 of counting of the omer: How compassionate are we in our acts of kindness?  Are they truly acts of compassionate kindness?  Or out of a sense of obligation?

Today is Week 1 Day 4 of counting of the omer: Does our Kindness endure?

Today is Week 1 Day 5 of counting of the omer: Do we perform kind acts in humility?

Today is Week 1 Day 6 of counting of the omer: Do we bond or connect with those who need kindness?  Or do we shun them?

Today is Week 1 Day 7 of counting of the omer:  Do we instill dignity to those who need acts of kindness or do we humiliate them because of their needs?

In Week 2 we examine Justice and Discipline in the same fashion that we examined kindness.

Today is Week 2 day 8 of counting the omer: How kind is our discipline?

Today is Week 2 day 9 of counting of the omer: How just is our discipline? Or have you ever asked yourself, how disciplined is your discipline?

Do you see the pattern? There are 7 weeks and 7 days in each week giving us 49 days of inner inspection.

During this time you will find that sin can hide in some of the most unusual places.  It is a time of repentance that brings us to the Almighty, a place of great Joy!