Still counting!

Cash register "National".

Cash register "National". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the 20th day of the Omer and I am still counting.  Back at the beginning, I asked Why Count the Omer and listed some reasons I gleaned from reading.  I hunted around on WordPress and other blogging sites, and found more wisdom about the Omer (also some great bloggers):

Don’t Forget to Count the Omer with Homer   (link to a fun Omer counter)

Count of the Omer (lots of detail on the traditional / proper way to count)

Counting the Omer as a Form of Global Prayer (powerful reason to count!)

Counting the Omer, Dancing in the limbs of the Sefirot (a different way of counting, from a community and rabbi in the Rockies)

and then there’s also Rabbi Denise Eger’s blog Walking Justly. Seeking Justice. Living with Hope. in which she’s counting day by day using the traditional sefirot as a framework.

These are far from the only sources online with counting or thoughts on counting, but they offer a taste of the variety available.  Jewish learning really IS bigger than the sea.

But back to counting: I’ve been meditating on the word “Count.”  In Hebrew, “to count” is לספור, “lispor,” and the root is ס.פ.ר, samech, pey, resh.  Hebrew roots connect entire families of words, in this case:

  • sippur, story
  • l’saper, to tell
  • sefer, book
  • sifriyah, library
  • sofer, scribe
  • mispar, number
  • sefirot, emanations (the ten attributes or emanations of God, according to Kabbalah)

There’s plenty to think about there.  There are also the uses in English of “count”:

  • Counting the days.
  • Called to account. (That one doesn’t work in Hebrew, but it sure is evocative in English.)
  • Making the day count.
  • Can people count on me?
  • Does his opinion count?
  • Count up your points!
  • Let me recount the tale…

So….

  • What am I counting this month, besides the days to the barley harvest?  (I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen it growing.)
  • Am I making these days count?
  • What am I writing in the scroll of my life during these days between freedom and covenant?
  • If I was written in the Book of Life last High Holy Days, what am I doing about it now?
  • What am I doing to make the days count?
  • Whom I am not taking into account?
  • Can people count on me?
  • Upon whom or what can I count?

All excellent questions!  What does “count” or “ס.פ.ר” bring up for you?

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