Counting the Omer
"And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה. "
“Count seven weeks for yourself. Begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain."
This year, we begin counting the omer on:
April 16, 2022
After Passover, the next major appointed time of YAHUAH is Shavuot (Festival of Weeks). Shavuot is the time when YAHUAH gave His Torah on Mt. Sinai.
The Torah commands that we count the seven weeks leading up to this Set-Apart Day.
This 'in-between' time from Passover to Shavuot, when we count 50 days, is called the Counting of the Omer.
In ancient Yisrael, the first crop to ripen was barley. An omer (~half-gallon) of barley was brought as the offering of first fruits after Passover, and the priest waved it before YAHUAH. The first fruit of the wheat harvest (the last crop to ripen) was brought at Shavuot. Even if we're not bringing an offering of the crops, we are still commanded to count these seven weeks.
This time between leaving Mitsrayim (Egypt) at Passover and arriving at Mt. Sinai for Shavuot was a time of testing and training for YAH's people. They had to be prepared to receive the Torah. In Mitsrayim, the Hebrews had descended to one of the lowest spiritual levels while in slavery. Now, before they could accept YAH's laws, they had to come up to one of the highest spiritual levels. A major spiritual transformation was in order.
For several generations, the Hebrew people had been slaves - depending on their Mitsrite (Egyptian) masters for their very existence. In order to accept the Torah, they had to change this 'slave mentality.'
No longer would they depend on Mitsrayim for their existence, but instead put all their trust and dependancy on YAHUAH. No longer would they be slaves to Pharaoh, but they would be servants of Elohim. No longer would they worship idols as some of them had begun to do (Ezek. 20:6-10) but they would worship the Most High YAHUAH only.
This type of transformation required that the Hebrews go through a period of testing and training. They had to break their slave mentality and completely rebuild their spiritual character to YAH's standards. Then, and only then, would they be ready to receive the Torah and fulfill their spiritual purpose of being a light to the nations, proclaiming His Name throughout the earth.
For seven weeks, as the Hebrews traveled from Mitsrayim to Sinai, YAHUAH prepared His people. At the Red Sea, they feared being recaptured by Pharaoh, but YAH delivered them and brought them through the Sea on dry land. Then, the sea closed - cutting them off from Mitsrayim forever. He then tested them with hunger and thirst, while they grumbled to return to Mitsrayim. YAHUAH then made bitter waters sweet, brought water from a rock, and provided bread from Heaven. They faced certain defeat as the Amalekites came to fight against them, but Moshe raised his hands to Heaven and Yehoshua (Joshua) won the battle.
Each challenge, each obstacle, each life-or-death situation was a test from Elohim. It was a test to see how much they truly depended on YAH. Each and every time, YAHUAH provided and took care of His people. He showed them time and again that they could -- and must -- put their complete dependancy on Him. Mitsrayim was no longer their provider; YAHUAH was their Provider. Mitsrayim was not their might-one, YAHUAH was their Elohim! Each time they looked to YAH for food, water, safety, etc. -- they were breaking that 'slave mentality' and rebuilding their spiritual character according to His way.
This period of the Omer, between Passover and Shavuot, is a time of testing and training.
In today's world, it's super easy to lose sight of Elohim. Technology and the world's systems blind us from Him, and we quickly start to depend on ourselves and the world for our needs. We're easily trained into thinking that we take care of ourselves, our jobs provide for our needs, and our bank account balance is our security. We get used to doing things the way we see fit and go along with whatever is accepted by popular society.
To be a Yahudi(te), a servant of YAH, all that has to change.
We have to practice training our mind to look to YAHUAH only for all our needs.
We have to remind our self that He alone is our Provider.
If we are to accept His Torah, then no longer can we just go with the flow of society.
Nor can we be a slave to our own desires -- doing whatever we want, whenever we want, and however we want.
We have to learn His Torah and obey His commands.
This is what makes us a servant of the Most High Elohim.
Counting the Omer is a call for us to undergo a serious spiritual transformation. It's the time that we work to change our own slave mentality and build up our own spiritual character.
If you observed the Passover, then you've already been set free.
Now it's time for your mind and your spirit to get the message and prepare to experience the ultimate freedom that comes with His Covenant at Shavuot!
Let's get counting!
How to Count the Omer
“And He humbled you, and let you suffer hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, to make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of יהוה."
The point of Counting the Omer is to get us to look to YAHUAH daily for all our needs. He told us that man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from His mouth.
So everyday, we count which day it is, and then we read from His Word. Each of the daily readings speak of His commands to get our minds focused on accepting His Torah at Shavuot.
Here's the 'How-to' and further below you can find a printable chart of the readings and a current calendar to help you keep track of the count during the seven week/50-day "march to Sinai."
STEP 1: Recite the Blessing
Baruch atah YAHUAH Eloheynu Melech Ha-Olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu al Sefirat HaOmer.
Blessed are You, YAHUAH our Elohim, Sovereign of the Universe, Who set us apart with His commands, and commanded us regarding the counting of the Omer.
Step 2: Make the Count
Use the chart below to count in the following manner:
Example: “This is the [first] day of the Omer.”
After 7 days: “This is the [eighth] day, which is [one] week and [one] day of the Omer.”
Step 3: Reading the Word
- Tehillim/Psalm 67 &
- the Daily Reading on the Chart below
Step 4: Closing Prayer
YAHUAH HaRachaman, Hu Yachazir lanu avodat Beit HaMikdash Li’mekomo bimhayra be’yameinu. Amen; Selah.
YAHUAH, the Compassionate One, May He return for us the service of the Set-Apart Place to its place speedily and in our days. So be it; Selah.
We beg You, YAH, with the strength of Your right hand’s greatness, untie the bundled sins. Accept the prayer of Your nation; strengthen us, purify us, O Awesome One. Please, O Strong One—those who foster Your Oneness, guard them like the apple of an eye. Bless them, purify them, show them compassion, may Your righteousness always recompense them. Powerful, Set-Apart One, with Your abundant goodness guide Your congregation. One and only Exalted One, turn to Your nation, which proclaims Your set-apartness. Accept our entreaty and hear our cry, O YAHUAH, Knower of mysteries. Blessed is the Name of His esteemed Sovereignty forever and ever.
O YAHUAH, Master of the universe, You commanded us through Mosheh, Your servant, to count the Omer Count in order to cleanse us from our encrustations of evil and from our contaminations, as You have written in Your Torah: ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to YAHUAH,’ (Lev 23:15-16) so that the beings of Your people Yisra’el be cleansed from their contamination.
Therefore, may it be Your will, YAHUAH our Elohim and the Elohim of our forefathers, that You correct whatever blemish I have caused within my being. May I be cleansed and set apart with the Set-Apartness of Above. May You correct our lives, spirits, and beings from all sediment and blemish; may You cleanse us and set us apart with Your exalted set-apartness. So be it, Selah!