Sefirat HaOmer or the Counting of the Omer… if you’ve been around here long enough, you know this is one mitzvah where I could improve. This year I didn’t rely on an app. Because, guess what, I was a genius at ignoring the app reminders to count the Omer. Genius. Plus, do I really want to increase my dependency on that phone!? (Don’t get me wrong, there are many good habits I’ve developed because of that phone – namely, the electronic calendar habit – which I’ll talk about next week. But, for the most part, the phone is a HUGE distraction.) And I’m working really hard on taking a very simple message of Sefirat HaOmer and apply it to my life in whatever way I can. And that is, Make Every Day Count!
This year, I relied on myself and my desire to do yet another small thing with my children, in order to push myself to fulfill this mitzvah. The latter being the most relevant here, because relying on myself alone would have not gotten me very far. Children? What!? Yes. Counting the Omer, has become something we do. Together.
Like clockwork every weekday (it works differently on Fridays and Motzae Shabbos) at 8:40 pm we have been counting the Omer. You think it’s trivial? Nope. Three minutes of something we do together, with no distractions. Oh and it’s something which does not involve me nagging them in any way, or them complaining about something. It’s something they know we’re doing because it’s a mitzvah, and so at the same time, we’re building awareness of our Creator and our relationship with Him… I think it’s a pretty good recipe. I’ll take it. In a way it reminds me of the weekly ritual of lighting Shabbat candles. It just is. It’s time. They come next to me. We do it. No need to nag. No complaints. And to be truthful, I’ll take as many of those little peaceful moments with my children as I can and store them in my parenting memory bank.
Their perspective is most likely different. For them, yes it might be nice to have some peaceful and uninterrupted time with me, but mostly it could be another excuse to get out of their beds and go to a sibling’s room, if that’s where I am, or, alternatively, come to my room. Some days, I just go find them in their room and say it with them individually, but for the most part I call them all into one room and we do it together. Or I ask one sibling to go gather everyone. It really has been going very smoothly. Pleasant. Almost blissful.
I can’t really explain why Counting Sefirah is working so well this year, other than, I made it a priority. And I should also add that yes, the kids are older, which means they remember and remind each other and me, that we have to count. (Yes, that has definitely helped build my momentum.)
Sometimes our counting turns into a conversation about what the Sefirah of the day is and what it means practically. Sometimes. And those times, we pull out this little book or we just talk about it. (Btw, I highly recommend the book.) Other times, we just get right back into our bedtime routines.
At that hour of the night, our home has pretty much quieted down and everyone needs to be in their bedrooms with a book or relaxing activity. Some kids journal, some read, some chat with a sibling… By the way, when I say everyone, I mean it. That includes me! More on that next week, because yes, me being in bed that early has become one of those things that is helping me make every day count… and that, my friends, is at the very least, something I’m getting out of this year’s Sefirah…
And now, here’s a poem that unbeknownst to me until last night, my 9 year old daughter wrote about Sefirah: (She said, “Here, you can put it in your blog post about Sefirah.”)
Sefiras HaOmer is what we say,
every night and maybe day.
You open the Siddur to the right page,
then you say the bracha and say the phrase.
You only say the bracha if you don’t skip a day,
and that is of course, the ideal way.
We count to look forward for the Torah to come.
Shavuot is the day we stop counting the sum.
In the middle, Lag B’Omer is here.
Rabbi Shimon died and he made it clear
it’s a day to dance and not to fear.
Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying as well
It’s a day to celebrate as Rabbi Shimon did tell.
Is she cute!?
You can learn more about Sefirat HaOmer here.
Related Posts: Counting the Omer App