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omer post Sefirat HaOmer

Mechanics of Counting Omer

Before counting the Omer, one recites the following blessing: “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the counting of the Omer.”  Both the blessing and the counting are said, le’chatchilah, in a standing position.  If one said them while sitting, he has nonetheless fulfilled his obligation (Sh.A. 489:1).

There are two components to the count – counting the days and counting the weeks, as it says, You shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the “Sabbath” – from the day you bring the Omer of waving – seven weeks; they shall be complete. Until the morrow of the seventh week, you shall count fifty days (VaYikra 23:15-16).

Therefore, one must mention the tally of days and weeks when counting the Omer (Menachot 61a).  For example, on the seventh day, one says, “Today is seven days, which are one week, [of the Omer],” and on the fourteenth day, one says, “Today is fourteen days, which are two weeks.”  We mention the number of days and weeks even in the middle of a week.  For example, on the tenth day, we say, “Today is ten days, which are one week and three days.”[3]

There are several versions of the text of the Omer count.  Some say, laOmer (“of the Omer”), while others say baOmer (“in the Omer”).  Some say, “Today is fourteen days of/in the Omer, which are two weeks,” and some say, “Today is fourteen days, which are two weeks, of/in the Omer.”  One fulfills his obligation no matter which version he uses.  The custom is to add the LeSheim Yichud paragraph before counting, as well as various other prayers afterwards, but one is not obligated to do so.  The main components are the actual counting and the blessing preceding it.

The number seven alludes to a complete phenomenon, for the world was created in seven days.  Indeed, every physical entity has six sides – four sides, a top, and a bottom – plus a seventh aspect, its inner core.  Man, as well, has seven sides, which is why it takes seven days to go from a state of impurity to one of purity.  For seven days, a person prepares all of his aspects to make this transformation.

The same is true of purifying oneself for sacred endeavors in this world, like eating terumah and sacrificial foods, as well as a woman’s purification process for her husband.  However, in order to absorb God’s Torah, whose lofty stature belongs to the supernal worlds, we need to count much deeper – seven weeks instead of seven days.  In this count, each one of the seven numbers appears in all of its seven facets.  This way, our purification in advance of the giving of the Torah is complete.  Every aspect of our character undergoes refinement and expresses its yearning and anticipation for the receiving of the Torah.


The Rishonim find a support for this in the verse From when the sickle begins [to cut] the standing crop (בקמה) shall you begin to count seven weeks (Devarim 16:9) – do not read בקמה, rather בקימה (while standing).  The author of Sefer HaEshkol (Hilchot Pesach 159:1) writes that we do not recite the Shehechiyanu blessing on the Omer count because [we count] in anticipation of the holiday of Shavu’ot, and the Shehechiyanu recited on Shavu’ot covers the count as well.  The Maharil suggests that it is because the Omer count is [only] a preliminary mitzvah, which culminates on Shavu’ot.  The Radvaz (4:256), Maharsham (1:213), and Rav Poalim (3, O.C. 32) offer these reasons, as well.  The Maharil adds that we are worried that one may forget to count one day and forfeit the entire count.  How, then, can [such a person] recite the Shehechiyanu blessing at the beginning?  The author of Kol Bo (145) explains that [we omit the blessing] because the mitzvah is [only] Rabbinic nowadays.  The Rashba writes in his Responsa (1:126) that [Shehechiyanu is recited only if the mitzvah gives one pleasure].  The lulav is taken [to express] joy; the shofar is [blown] as a remembrance; but the Omer count is merely a preparatory act, which provides no pleasure.  Furthermore, we perform it today in mournful commemoration of the Temple’s destruction.  Rabbeinu Yerucham gives the same reason, quoting the Razah.[3]. At the completion of every week, one is obligated to mention the number of days and weeks, e.g., “Today is seven days, which are one week.”  [There is a dispute,] however, regarding the middle of a week, like the eighth day.  According to the Razah and other Rishonim, one must count only the days and say, “Today is eight days.”  Rabbi Efrayim holds that one must count only the weeks and say, “Today is one week and one day.”  According to the Rif, Rambam, and Rosh, one enumerates both counts every day, and that is our custom, as the Shulchan Aruch writes (489:1).

If, at the end of a week, one forgets to count the days, he does not discharge his obligation, even be’di’avad, and he must re-count with a blessing.  And if he fails to rectify his mistake that day, he must count without a blessing from then on.  If, at the end of a week, one forgets to count the weeks, some say he fulfills his obligation, be’di’avad, while others say he does not.  In the middle of a week, however, like the eighth day, if one says merely, “Today is eight days,” he fulfills his obligation, be’di’avad.  And if he says, “Today is one week and one day,” some maintain that he fulfills his obligation.  In all of these scenarios, one should re-count properly without a blessing, but if he failed to do so that day, he counts the next day with a blessing (based on M.B. 489:7, Sha’ar HaTziyun 9, 19, and halachah 2.8, below).

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Sefirot HaOmer Calendar: PDF
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Explaining the mitsvah of Sefirat HaOmer, Rabbi David Seidenberg writes:

Every night during the Omer we say a blessing for doing a mitsvah and then say the count which leads us from Passover to Shavuot, from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest and, ultimately, to the first offering on Shavuot itself of wheat from the new harvest, in the form of 12 loaves. During the time the Omer was counted, barley from each week would be brought into the Temple and waved as an offering, really as a prayer that the harvest would come in successfully. A possible reason why there is a custom not to shave or cut our hair during this time is to pray with our bodies for the growth of the wheat.

Each day between the beginning of Passover and Shavuot gets counted, 49 days in all, 7 weeks of seven days. That makes the Omer period a miniature version of the Shmitah and Yovel (Jubilee) cycle of 7 cycles of seven years. Just as that cycle is one of resetting society’s clock to align ourselves with freedom and with the needs of the land, this cycle too is a chance to align ourselves with the rhythms of spring and the spiritual freedom represented by the Torah.

The Omer count is made starting the evening of each day – when the count happens at night the blessing is said and when the count happens during the daytime the blessing is not said. After the blessing the day is counted by absolute number and by its number within each week, i.e., “Today is the thirty-third day of the Omer, which is four weeks and five days” – that’s Lag Ba’omer (lamed plus gimel, ל + ג = 33).

The biggest challenge of counting the Omer is that it is one long mitsvah lasting 49 days. What that means is that if you go one whole night and day without counting, the halakhah is to no longer say the blessing. Making it all the way through seven weeks without missing a day is not easy for most of us! Hence, the proliferation of calendars, websites, and apps for counting the Omer.


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HebrewEnglish

לְשֵם יִחוּד
קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וּשְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ
בִּדְחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ,
וּרְחִימוּ וּדְחִילוּ,
לְיַחֵד שֵׁם יוּ״ד הֵ״א בְּוָא״ו הֵ״א
בְּיִחוּדָא שְׁלִים
בְּשֵׁם כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל.‏
For the sake of the unification
of the blessed Holy One and their shekhinah,
in reverence and compassion,
and in love and awe,
to unify the Name Yud-Hei with Vav-Hei
in perfect unity
in the name of all Yisra’el.

הִנְנִי מוּכָן וּמְזוּמָן
לְקַיֵים מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל סְפִירַת הָעֽוֺמֶר,
כְּמוֺ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַתּוֺרָה:‏
וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת
מִיּוֺם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה
שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּתֹ֖ות תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃‏‏‏
עַ֣ד מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַשַּׁבָּת֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔ת
תִּסְפְּר֖וּ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים יֹ֑ום (ויקרא כג:טו-טז חלק)‏
Behold, I am prepared and ready
to perform the mitsvah of counting the Omer,
as is written in your Torah:
You are to count from the end of the rest day.
From the day you brought the waived Omer-offering,
they [the counting] shall be seven complete weeks.
Until the end of the seventh week
you shall count fifty days…[1]

וִיהִ֤י׀ נֹ֤עַם אֲדֹנָ֥י אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ עָ֫לֵ֥ינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָ֭דֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָ֥ה עָלֵ֑ינוּ
וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָ֝דֵ֗ינוּ כּוֹנְנֵֽהוּ׃ (תהילים צ:יז)‏
May the pleasantness of ADONAI our elo’ah, be upon us,
may our handiwork be established for us —
our handiwork, may it be established.[2]

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֺתָיו
וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר׃
Blessed are you,
YHVH our elo’ah,
cosmic majesty,
who sanctified us with their mitsvot
and commanded us to count the Omer.
If you are uncertain what the Hebrew date is corresponding to the Omer count, please check with Hebcal. Note that most Ashkenazim say ba’omer while Sefaradim and Ḥasidim say la’omer when counting.

ט״ז ניסן: הַיּוֹם יוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
16 Nissan: Today is Day One of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Ḥesed)

י״ז ניסן: הַיּוֹם שְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
17 Nissan: Today is Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Ḥesed)

י״ח ניסן: הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
18 Nissan: Today is Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Ḥesed)

י״ט ניסן: הַיּוֹם אַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
19 Nissan: Today is Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Ḥesed)

כ׳ ניסן: הַיּוֹם חֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
20 Nissan: Today is Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Ḥesed)

כ״א ניסן: הַיּוֹם שִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
21 Nissan: Today is Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Ḥesed)

כ״ב ניסן: הַיּוֹם שִׁבְעָה יָמִים, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד)
22 Nissan: Today is Seven Days, which are One Week of the Omer. (Malkhut within Ḥesed)

כ״ג ניסן: הַיּוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה יָמִים, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
23 Nissan: Today is Eight Days, which are One Week and One Day of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Gevurah)

כ״ד ניסן: הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁעָה יָמִים, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וּשְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
24 Nissan: Today is Nine Days, which are One Week and Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Gevurah)

כ״ה ניסן: הַיּוֹם עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
25 Nissan: Today is Ten Days, which are One Week and Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Gevurah)

כ״ו ניסן: הַיּוֹם אַחַד עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וְאַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
26 Nissan: Today is Eleven Days, which are One Week and Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Gevurah)

כ״ז ניסן: הַיּוֹם שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וַחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
27 Nissan: Today is Twelve Days, which are One Week and Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Gevurah)

כ״ח ניסן: הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד וְשִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
28 Nissan: Today is Thirteen Days, which are One Week and Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Gevurah)

כ״ט ניסן: הַיּוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבִּגְּבוּרָה)
29 Nissan: Today is Fourteen Days, which are Two Weeks of the Omer. (Malkhut within Gevurah)

ל׳ ניסן: הַיּוֹם חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
30 Nissan: Today is Fifteen Days, which are Two Weeks and One Day of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Tiferet)

א׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם שִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
1 Iyar: Today is Sixteen Days, which are Two Weeks and Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Tiferet)

ב׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם שִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
2 Iyar: Today is Seventeen Days, which are Two Weeks and Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Tiferet)

ג׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וְאַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
3 Iyar: Today is Eighteen Days, which are Two Weeks and Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Tiferet)

ד׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וַחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
4 Iyar: Today is Nineteen Days, which are Two Weeks and Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Tiferet)

ה׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעוֹת וְשִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
5 Iyar: Today is Twenty Days, which are Two Weeks and Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Tiferet)

ו׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם אֶחָד וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבְּתִּפְאֶרֶת)
6 Iyar: Today is Twenty-One Days, which are Three Weeks of the Omer. (Malkhut within Tiferet)

ז׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁנַֽיִם וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
7 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Two Days, which are Three Weeks and One Day of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Netsaḥ)

ח׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
8 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Three Days, which are Three Weeks and Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Netsaḥ)

ט׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
9 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Four Days, which are Three Weeks and Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Netsaḥ)

י׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְאַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
10 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Five Days, which are Three Weeks and Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Netsaḥ)

י״א אייר: הַיּוֹם שִׁשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וַחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
11 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Six Days, which are Three Weeks and Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Netsaḥ)

י״ב אייר: הַיּוֹם שִׁבְעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְשִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
12 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Seven Days, which are Three Weeks and Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Netsaḥ)

י״ג אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבְּנֶצַח)
13 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Eight Days, which are Four Weeks of the Omer. (Malkhut within Netsaḥ)

י״ד אייר: הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
14 Iyar: Today is Twenty-Nine Days, which are Four Weeks and One Day of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Hōd)

ט״ו אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
15 Iyar: Today is Thirty Days, which are Four Weeks and Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Hōd)

ט״ז אייר: הַיּוֹם אֶחָד וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
16 Iyar: Today is Thirty-One Days, which are Four Weeks and Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Hōd)

י״ז אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְאַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
17 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Two Days, which are Four Weeks and Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Hōd)

י״ח אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת וַחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
18 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Three Days, which are Four Weeks and Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Hōd)

י״ט אייר: הַיּוֹם אַרְבָּעָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם אַרְבָּעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְשִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
19 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Four Days, which are Four Weeks and Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Hōd)

כ׳ אייר: הַיּוֹם חֲמִשָּׁה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבְּהוֹד)
20 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Five Days, which are Five Weeks of the Omer. (Malkhut within Hōd)

כ״א אייר: הַיּוֹם שִׁשָּׁה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
21 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Six Days, which are Five Weeks and One Day of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Yesōd)

כ״ב אייר: הַיּוֹם שִׁבְעָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
22 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Seven Days, which are Five Weeks and Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Yesōd)

כ״ג אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
23 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Eight Days, which are Five Weeks and Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Yesōd)

כ״ד אייר: הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁעָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְאַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
24 Iyar: Today is Thirty-Nine Days, which are Five Weeks and Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Yesōd)

כ״ה אייר: הַיּוֹם אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וַחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
25 Iyar: Today is Forty Days, which are Five Weeks and Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Yesōd)

כ״ו אייר: הַיּוֹם אֶחָד וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם חֲמִשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְשִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
26 Iyar: Today is Forty-One Days, which are Five Weeks and Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Yesōd)

כ״ז אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁנַיִם וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבְּיְסוֹד)
27 Iyar: Today is Forty-Two Days, which are Six Weeks of the Omer. (Malkhut within Yesōd)

כ״ח אייר: הַיּוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָעֹמֶר׃ (חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
28 Iyar: Today is Forty-Three Days, which are Six Weeks and One Day of the Omer. (Ḥesed within Malkhut)

כ״ט אייר: הַיּוֹם אַרְבָּעָה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁנֵי יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
29 Iyar: Today is Forty-Four Days, which are Six Weeks and Two Days of the Omer. (Gevurah within Malkhut)

א׳ סיון: הַיּוֹם חֲמִשָּׁה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
1 Sivan: Today is Forty-Five Days, which are Six Weeks and Three Days of the Omer. (Tiferet within Malkhut)

ב׳ סיון: הַיּוֹם שִׁשָּׁה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְאַרְבָּעָה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (נֶצַח שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
2 Sivan: Today is Forty-Six Days, which are Six Weeks and Four Days of the Omer. (Netsaḥ within Malkhut)

ג׳ סיון: הַיּוֹם שִׁבְעָה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וַחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (הוֹד שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
3 Sivan: Today is Forty-Seven Days, which are Six Weeks and Five Days of the Omer. (Hōd within Malkhut)

ד׳ סיון: הַיּוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁשָּׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת וְשִׁשָּׁה יָמִים לָעֹמֶר׃ (יְסוֹד שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
4 Sivan: Today is Forty-Eight Days, which are Six Weeks and Six Days of the Omer. (Yesōd within Malkhut)

ה׳ סיון: הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁעָה וְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, שֶׁהֵם שִׁבְעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת לָעֹמֶר׃ (מַלְכוּת שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת)
5 Sivan: Today is Forty-Nine Days, which are Seven Weeks of the Omer. (Malkhut within Malkhut)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁיִּבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ
בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ
וְתֵן חֶלְקֵנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ׃
May it be Your will,
YHVH our elo’ah,
elo’ah of our ancestors,
that the Beit HaMiqdash
be rebuilt speedily in our days,
and may you grant us a portion in your Torah.
After the count, it’s a custom to recite Psalms 67, a psalm with seven verses and forty-nine words (excluding the initial introductory verse). Each word of this Psalm corresponds to each day of the Omer count. Additionally, since the fifth verse has 49 letters, each letter of the verse corresponds to each day in the Omer’s counting.

א לַמְנַצֵּ֥ח בִּנְגִינֹ֗ת מִזְמ֥וֹר שִֽׁיר׃
1 For the Leader; with string-music. A Psalm, a Song.

ב אֱלֹהִ֗ים יְחָנֵּ֥נוּ וִֽיבָרְכֵ֑נוּ
יָ֤אֵ֥ר פָּנָ֖יו אִתָּ֣נוּ סֶֽלָה׃
2 ELOHIM be gracious unto us, and bless us;
May they cause their face to shine toward us;[3] Selah!

ג לָדַ֣עַת בָּאָ֣רֶץ דַּרְכֶּ֑ךָ
בְּכָל־גּ֝וֹיִ֗ם יְשׁוּעָתֶֽךָ׃
3 That your way may be known upon earth,
Your salvation among all peoples.

ד יוֹד֖וּךָ עַמִּ֥ים׀ אֱלֹהִ֑ים
י֝וֹד֗וּךָ עַמִּ֥ים כֻּלָּֽם׃
4 Let the peoples give thanks unto you, ELOHIM;
Let the peoples give thanks unto you, all of them.

ה יִֽשְׂמְח֥וּ וִֽירַנְּנ֗וּ לְאֻ֫מִּ֥ים
כִּֽי־תִשְׁפֹּ֣ט עַמִּ֣ים מִישׁ֑וֹר
וּלְאֻמִּ֓ים׀ בָּאָ֖רֶץ תַּנְחֵ֣ם סֶֽלָה׃
5 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For you will judge the peoples with equity,
And guide the people upon earth. Selah!

ו יוֹד֖וּךָ עַמִּ֥ים׀ אֱלֹהִ֑ים
י֝וֹד֗וּךָ עַמִּ֥ים כֻּלָּֽם׃
6 Let the peoples give thanks to you, ELOHIM;
Let the peoples give thanks to you, all of them.

ז אֶ֭רֶץ נָתְנָ֣ה יְבוּלָ֑הּ
יְ֝בָרְכֵ֗נוּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ׃
7 The Earth has granted her harvest;
May ELOHIM, our elo’ah, bless us.

ח יְבָרְכֵ֥נוּ אֱלֹהִ֑ים
וְיִֽירְא֥וּ אֹ֝ת֗וֹ כָּל־אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ׃
8 May ELOHIM bless us;
And let all the ends of the earth be in awe of them.
Yeriḥo as a seven walled Cretan labyrinth. (Farḥi Bible by Elisha ben Avraham Crescas, 14th c.)In my practice, I reflect on the Sefirat Ha’Omer as neither a linear progression, nor as a spiraling ascent towards Shavuot. Rather, I see the seven weeks as a seven walled maze or labyrinth. Just as the winter ends in fits and starts, my psyche seeks some natural rhythm to guide it along with the rest of Nature into wakefulness. I share in an ancient deep apprehension whether the fields will yield a healthy and abundant crop and whether the pregnant animals will safely give birth to their offspring.[4]After Psalms 67 is read, many recite the deeply mystical piyyut and teḥinah (petitionary prayer), Ana b’Khoaḥ. Many of the themes of Psalms 67 are repeated in this prayer. Ana b’Khoaḥ contains seven lines and forty-two words, with each initial letter forming a 42-letter name of G‽Δ. Counting each word together with the seven acronyms formed from the first letter of each line yields forty-nine words to correspond with each day of the Omer.[5]A Divine Name is formed by the first letters of אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ. These words appear below each stanza, and it is customary to look at or visualize these, and not to pronounce them. –Aharon N. Varady

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ גְּדֻלַּת יְמִינְךָ
תַּתִּיר צְרוּרָה
(אב״ג ית״ץ)
Please, with the power of Your great right hand
free the bound.

קַבֵּל רִנַּת עַמְּךָ
שַׂגְּבֵנוּ טַהֲרֵנוּ נוֹרָא
(קר״ע שט״ן)
Accept the song of Your people,
empower us, make us pure, Awesome One!

נָא גִבּוֹר
דּוֹרְשֵׁי יִחוּדְךָ
כְּבָבַת שָׁמְרֵם
(נג״ד יכ״ש)
Please, Mighty One,
the seekers of Your unity,
watch them like the pupil of an eye.

בָּרְכֵם טַהֲרֵם
רַחֲמֵי צִדְקָתְךָ
תָּמִיד גָּמְלֵם
(בט״ר צת״ג)
Bless them, make them pure,
have mercy on them;
Your justness bestow upon them always.

חָסִין קָדוֹשׁ
בְּרֹב טוּבְךָ
נַהֵל עֲדָתֶךָ
(חק״ב טנ״ע)
Tremendous Holy One,
in Your abundant goodness
guide Your community.

יָחִיד גֵּאֶה
לְעַמְּךָ פְּנֵה
זוֹכְרֵי קְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ
(יג״ל פז״ק)
Unique One, Exalted One,
face Your people
who remember Your holiness.

שַׁוְעָתֵנוּ קַבֵּל
וּשְׁמַע צַעֲקָתֵנוּ
יוֹדֵעַ תַּעֲלוּמוֹת
(שק״ו צי״ת)
Accept our prayer,
hear our cry,
Knower of secrets.

 
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם
כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ
לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:‏
Say in an undertone:
Blessed is the Name
of their resplendent majesty
in the Cosmos forever.
Because there are seven lower sefirot in Kabbalah associated with days of the week (and probably because of the homonym sefirah, which also means counting), there is also a custom to say which sefirah is connected with that day and that week, i.e. for Lag Ba’omer, the fifth day of the fifth week, or Hod sheb’Hod (Hod within Hod, Majesty squared). For the first night one would therefore add: Ḥesed sheb’Ḥesed ~ “Love within Love.” We travel from Ḥesed within Ḥesed on the second night of Passover, the night of true lovingkindness, to the 49th day of the Omer, Malkhut within Malkhut, the radiance of Shekhinah. The significance of Hod within Hod is that it is the point in which physical manifestation (i.e. of the Torah or God’s presence) begins. On a mystical level this is about the Torah being prepared to be given to the people, while on the natural level it’s about the manifestation of divine blessing in the wheat crop itself. –Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם,‏
אַתָּה צִוִּיתָנוּ עַל יְדֵי משֶׁה עַבְדֶּךָ
לִסְפּוֹר סְפִירַת הָעוֹמֶר כְּדֵי לְטַהֲרֵנוּ מִקְלִפּוֹתֵינוּ וּמִטֻמְאוֹתֵינוּ,‏
כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתַבְתָּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ:‏
וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת
מִיֹּום֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה
שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃
עַ֣ד מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַשַּׁבָּת֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔ת
תִּסְפְּר֖וּ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים יֹ֑ום (ויקרא כג:טו-טז חלק)‏
כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּטָּהֲרוּ נַפְשׁוֹת עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִזֻּהֲמָתָם,‏
Master of the Cosmos,
you commanded us through Mosheh, your servant,
to count the Sefirat HaOmer in order to purify us from our klipot and tumot,
as you have written in your Torah:
“You are to count from the end of the rest day,
from the day you brought the waived Omer-offering,
they [the counting] shall be seven complete weeks.
Until the end of of the seventh week
you shall count fifty days,”[6]
so that the lives of your people, Yisra’el, will be purified from their impurities.

וּבְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,‏
שֶׁבִּזְכוּת סְפִירַת הָעוֹמֶר שֶׁסָּפַרְתִּי הַיּוֹם,‏
יְתֻקַּן מַה שֶׁפָּגַמְתִּי בִּסְפִירָה
(…)
Therefore, may it be your will, YHVH our elo’ah, and elo’ah of our ancestors,
that in the merit of the Sefirat HaOmer that I have counted today,
may there be healed any impairment of mine in the sefirah,
 (here say the corresponding sefirah for the day of the Omer.) 

וְאֶטָּהֵר וְאֶתְקַדֵּשׁ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה שֶׁל מַעְלָה,‏
וְעַל יְדֵי זֶה יֻשְׁפַּע שֶׁפַע רַב בְּכָל הָעוֹלָמוֹת
וּלְתַקֵּן אֶת נַפְשׁוֹתֵינוּ וְרוּחוֹתֵינוּ וְנִשְׁמוֹתֵינוּ מִכָּל סִיג וּפְגַם,‏
וּלְטַהֲרֵנוּ וּלְקַדְּשֵׁנוּ בִּקְדֻשָׁתְךָ הָעֶלְיוֹנָה,‏
אָמֵן סֶלָה:‏
May I be purified and sanctified with the holiness of Above,
and through this may abundant shefa flow [unimpeded] through all the worlds.
And may it heal our lives, spirits, and souls from all impurity and impairment.
May it purify and sanctify us with your most precious holiness.
Amen. Selah.

I adapted the Sefirot HaOmer calendar chart above from an earlier work, the Sefirot HaOmer Chart of Lieba B. Ruth (aka, Lauren Deutsch) to which I had added the 42nd day of the Omer. I wanted to make a version that corresponded with the color schema innovated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.

I’ve also adapted Lieba’s omer circles to correspond to the days of the Omer in Rabbi David Seidenberg (Neohasid.org)’s Omer Widget app using Reb Zalman’s color system.

Many thanks to Rabbi David Seidenberg for sharing the code for his open source Omer Widget. You can see the code for the widget used on opensiddur.org, here, and the original Omer Widget code can be found on Neohasid.org, where Reb Dovid’s teachings above were first published.

For more on the Omer from other Open Siddur contributors, please see, Shmueli Gonzales’ post at Hardcore Mesorah, “Starting off the Spiritual New Year Right.”

Notes

  1.Leviticus 23:15-16 part
  2.Psalms 90:17
  3.cf. the Priestly BlessingNumbers 6:23–27
  4.Also make sure to take note of the Karaite tradition of beginning their calendar year with the first observation of ripe barley.
  5.You can listen to different melodies for Ana b’Khoaḥ at neohasid.org. You can learn more about my take on Ana b’Koaḥ as it relates to the Omerhere.
  6.Leviticus 23:15-16