Counting Omer — G-d's commandment to count down 49 days between Passover and the joyous celebration of Shavuot, the festival celebrating receipt of Torah — is a mitzvah.
Not a chore.
Not a routine.
I only became familiar with counting Omer as an adult and understand Torah as the ultimate gift. Counting my way to the Shavuot celebration therefore seemed obvious practice. (Find Chabad's Omer Calendar here.)
But as I continue to seek more focus in life, I gave the mitzvah of counting the Omer more consideration. Counting Omer helps me focus on slowing down and absorbing the moments that matter.
I see the countdown as a reminder to use time wisely. To be aware of every moment that can be either cherished or let go.
Sometimes that happens in the day-to-day — and sometimes the reminder comes after the sun sets and the day is almost done.
Additionally, just as Shabbat hallows rest and togetherness — and Torah study — so counting omer is a reminder to value togetherness and meditation. I see it as a reminder to make time for what is presently important and be ready for what is to come.
So, I count the Omer — even sometimes via the Omer Counter & Assistant app. While I have been somewhat successful at reducing the pervasiveness of mobile devices in my life, the Chabad-created app is perfect for reminders, daily meditations and ready resources. I do also continue to study passages from my old fashioned, softcover Jewish Study Bible. (I've linked the latest edition, available in hardcover, along with a more portable study Tanakh, below.)
I'd love to hear how you incorporate daily meditation into your life.
A sincere chag sameach (חג שמח),
Amy Ritchart is a columnist, artist and educator simultaneously trying to drink 72 ounces of water per day while forgoing chametz in observance of Pesach. Please pardon the results of this process.