Now for a Trek in the Desert
Photo by Argenberg (c) Creative Commons Attribution
Hmm….after last night’s meal I could use a 49-day trek, or at least a good walk. Tonight many of us will embark on a second seder and, of course, the counting of the omer. The whole “omer” thing was a total mystery to me until about 2 years ago. Why on earth would we count sheaves of barley? I mean, I get it on a historical level and I understand that it’s to mark the time time between Passover and Shavout. I get the “wandering in the desert before arriving at Mt. Sinai, but what exactly am I supposed to get out of saying “today is Day 10.”
Then I discovered Rabbi Jill Hammer’s omer calendar of biblical women and I started to get it. I had seen the kabbalistic versions, but they really were too esoteric for me at the time. The biblical women calendar was more tangible and approachable. She still uses the kabbalistic approach of assigning a sephirot within a sephirot to each day — but she also assigns a bibilical woman who is representative and a teaching. Rabbi Jill also has a great counting of the omer in her Jewish Book of Days.
This year she has presented the Kohanot with the Netivot version. Along with the traditional daily sephirot within Sephirot, she has assigned a Netivah. I’m very much looking forward to exploring the Kohenet Netivot in this new and exciting way over the next 49 days. If you’d like to take this journey with me — just let me know (leave a comment). R’Jill has given me permission to share her Netivot Omer Calender. She’s also assigned both a female and male counterpart to the Netivah so it’s gender-balanced and this is the first time we’ve seen the masculine equivalents of the Netivot.
What do I have to offer you for the counting of the omer? Well, I’ve made this little calendar template so you can cross off the days. Each day has the assigned sephira within sephira. It starts at the top right and reads to the left (like Hebrew). I’ve been playing with fun things to do with this, like printing it on fabric and tying ribbons on each day, to make it reusable. Let me know if you come up with something creative, and I actually have several of the fabric printed version. If you would like one to experiment with — leave a comment or email me.
I also have to share this link to the “Homer Calendar” created by the folks at JVibe.com. It’s a Simpsonized version of the omer calendar and it’s darn funny. It also provides a pretty decent explanation of the whole thing, just with an excellent sense of humor.
You can also keep track of what day it is with this handy-dandy widget from R’David at NeoHasid.org.
[tags]passover, pesach, omer, omer calendar[/tags]