The Counting of the Omer is the period between Passover and Shavuot. Since 2012, we here at TBA have turned it into an amazing program called Every1Counts (E1C).
The biblical word for measure is omer. In biblical times, the Jews used to take a measure of barley, called an omer, to the Temple in Jerusalem as a sacrifice to God to say “thank you” for giving them a good harvest. From the second day of Passover until the festival of Shavuot, we count each day for seven weeks, and each day in ancient times, an omer of barley was brought to the Temple. In addition to gratitude, counting 49 days takes us to the moment our ancestors received the Torah, on the 50th day, the festival of Shavuot.
The purpose of the Every1Counts program is to
help each of us who participate get a sense of what this 49-day period might
have meant for our ancestors, as well as for each of us to have our own
profound and meaningful spiritual journey during those seven weeks.
One of the central ideas of this project is literally that everyone counts – each individual is important in their own right, and everyone’s participation is important to the community as a whole. You can count on the group, and the group can count on you.
This really all comes down to relationships: the individual with the group; person to person; and each person with themselves. We are creating a program to count our community’s aggregated mitzvot this year. We will, once again, be sharing a daily email with congregants. There will be a suggestion in each email of a mitzvah that you can do—one for each day of the omer. You can perform these or other mitzvot as individuals or as a family.
Our hope is that by counting our community’s mitzvot, we will connect with and inspire each other.
Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi David K. Holtz Cantor Margot E.B. Goldberg