Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SEFIRAT HAOMER. Today is the 8th day of the Omer (1 week and 1 day)

23rd of Nisan, 5770

From the second day of Pesach we start counting 49 days and 7 weeks until the Holiday of Shavuot.
In Pesach we celebrate our physical and political freedom from Egyptian captivity. On Shavout we commemorate the giving of the Torah and our covenant (berit) with the Almighty celebrated at Mount Sinai. The counting of the Omer connects between these two important events teaching us that our political freedom served a purpose as a mean to our cultural and religious freedom. From the other side, without been unbound from the Egyptian captivity we would have never been able to freely choose to commit ourselves to the worship God Almighty.
The counting of these 49 days takes place at night and it is preceded by a blessing: Baruch Ata… Asher Kideshanu beMitzvotav veTzivanu al Sefirat haOmer. Then we proceed to count the day and the week.
Women are exempt from the counting of the Omer, but they can still do it without pronouncing the Berakha.
If one forgets to count the day at night, he could count during the next day until sunset but without reciting the blessing that day. If one forgets to count one day completely, then he can count during the following days but does not say the blessing anymore.

Check the following website to subscribe for a daily reminder of Sefirat ha Omer http://www.ou.org/news_reg_sefira