Grab this free Counting the Omer Printable here!
Leviticus 23: 15 – 17; 21:
“And ye shall number to yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day on which ye shall offer the sheaf of the heave-offering, seven full weeks: 16 until the morrow after the last week ye shall number fifty days, and shall bring a new meat-offering to the Lord. 17 Ye shall bring from your dwelling loaves, as a heave-offering, two loaves: they shall be of two tenth portions of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven of the first-fruits to the Lord. “
21 “And ye shall call this day a convocation: it shall be holy to you; ye shall do no servile work on it: it is a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations in all your habitations. “
Sefirat HaOmer means to “count the omer”, or “count the days” starting from the Feast of First Fruits to Shavuot/Pentecost. Passover is one of my favorite holidays and the daily count to Shavuot just extends this time of joy.
Shavuot is distinct from the Feast of Unleavened Bread because while we are focused on excluding leavening from our homes for seven days, on Shavuot it is required for its celebration. The two loaves of bread that we bake are the first-fruits offering to the Lord and it celebrates the wheat harvest. This holiday also notably celebrates the giving of the Torah to our people at Mount Sinai by Moses.
Deuteronomy 16: 9 – 12:
“Seven weeks shalt thou number to thyself; when thou hast begun to put the sickle to the corn, thou shalt begin to number seven weeks. 10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks to the Lord thy God, accordingly as thy hand has power in as many things as the Lord thy God shall give thee. 11 And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow which dwells among you, in whatsoever place the Lord thy God shall choose, that his name should be called there. 12 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and thou shalt observe and do these commands. “
Exodus 19: 5 – 8:
“And now if ye will indeed hear my voice, and keep my covenant, ye shall be to me a peculiar people above all nations; for the whole earth is mine. 6 And ye shall be to me a royal priesthood and a holy nation: these words shalt thou speak to the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called the elders of the people, and he set before them all the words which God appointed them. 8 And all the people answered with one accord, and said, All the things that God has spoken we will do and hearken to: and Moses reported these words to God. “
The daily counting of the omer helps to connect us to feast days because it is a tangible thing that we do each day until Shavuot.
There are many fun ways to count the omer and if you don’t already have a chart, you can grab ours here! Print it out on cardstock, because it will hold up better throughout the days. My nephew and I have been going back and forth coloring it in with colorful markers, but paint or stickers would also work too!
Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have fun and enjoy the time leading up to Shavuot. Shalom!