Counting the Omer FAQ

Sefirat Ha'Omer Faq

**Please note that this is general information, contact your local rabbi for specifics pertaining to your community practices.**

1. What is counting the Omer?

  • In the days of the Holy Temple, before consumption of recently-harvest grains, the Jewish people would bring a barley offering on the second day of Passover. This offering was called the “Omer.”

2. Why do we count the Omer?

  • The Torah commands that the Jewish people should count the Omer. This is an important time of growth and self-examination, in preparation for the holiday of Shavuot with the giving of the Torah.

  • You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh Shabbat you shall count, fifty days… (Vayikra / Leviticus 23:15-16)

  • You shall count for yourselves seven weeks; from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavuot for the L-RD, your G-d.  (Devarim / Deuteronomy 16:9-10)

3. When do we count the Omer? When do we start counting the Omer for 2020? When do we stop counting the Omer?

  • For everyone not living in Israel, the Omer counting begins with the second night of Passover and continues every evening through the night before Shavuot. In Israel, the Omer counting begins on the first night of Passover.

  • Counting the Omer for 2020 begins the evening of Thursday, April 9 and ends the evening of Thursday, May 28.

4. What time do we count the Omer?

  • The Omer is counted every evening after nightfall, approximately 30 minutes after sunset.

5. I forgot to count the Omer one evening and it is the next day, what do I do?

  • Count the Omer but do not say the blessing. On subsequent nights, continue counting with a blessing as usual.

6. I forgot to count the Omer for an entire day, what do I do?

  • This means a person did not count the Omer for an entire day and did not recall until the following evening. If you missed an entire day, count the Omer for the subsequent days, but do not say a blessing.

7. Why can’t you continue counting with a blessing if you miss counting one day?

  • The Torah states, “…from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving – seven Shabbats, they shall be complete…” (Vayikra 23:15) Therefore, according to the rabbi’s, if one misses counting any day, the seven week period can no longer be considered complete.

8. Are there any restrictions during the counting of the Omer time period?

      • One is required to limit certain activities which bring joy. The custom of semi-mourning is uniform across all groups of Judaism. However, the actual time period of semi-restrictions, the restrictions, and the length of the semi-mourning period varies. Nonetheless, following common signs of semi-mourning are observed to various degrees:

          1. No weddings

          2. Not listening to music

          3. No haircuts or shaving

9. Is there anything to help me remember to count the Omer?

      • YES!!, There are apps you can download on your phone, daily reminder emails you can sign up for and papers you can print out. One other popular option is a beautiful Omer counting board. An Omer counting board works double duty for you, first off it is an obvious reminder so you don’t miss out on this important and simple mitzvah, second off, it adds beauty to your home as a beautiful decorative item.

How do I count the Omer?

  • Step 1

    • When nightfall arrives, stand and say the following blessing:

 

Baruch Ata Adon-y Elo-heinu Melech Ha-Olam
Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the Universe,

Asher Kidde-Shanu Be-mitzvo-tav
Who made us holy with His commandments,

Vetzi-Vanu All Sefirat Ha-Omer
and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.

  • Step 2

    • On days 1-7, say only the number of days such as:

      • “Today is 5 days of the Omer.”

    • On days that are complete weeks, say the number of week, such as:

      • “Today is 7 days, which is 1 week of the Omer.”

    • On all other days, say the number of days, and then the number of weeks and days, such as:

      • “Today is 30 days, which is 4 weeks and 2 days of the Omer.”

    • As long as it’s not a day that work is forbidden, mark off the day on your calendar, and you’re done.

** There are many opinions stating whether we say ba-omer or la-omer. Some opinions tell us that you say one or the other, a few say both and others say it doesn’t matter because you fulfill the mitzva without even saying that part.**​

Then follow with the corresponding day:

Ha-yom yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’nay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is two days of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’losha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom chami-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is five days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is six days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shiv-a yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is seven days, which are one week of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’mona yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad v’yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is eight days, which are one week and one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom tish-a yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is nine days, which are one week and two days of the Omer.

Ha-yom asara yamim, shehaym shavu-a echad ushlosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is ten days, which are one week and three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom achad asar yom, shehaym shavu-a echad v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is eleven days, which are one week and four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’naym asar yom, shehaym shavu-a echad vachami-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twelve days, which are one week and five days of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’losha asar yom, shehaym shavu-a echad v’shisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirteen days, which are one week and six days of the Omer.

Ha-yom arba-a asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is fourteen days, which are two weeks of the Omer.

Ha-yom chami-sha asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot v’yom echad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is fifteen days, which are two weeks and one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom shi-sha asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is sixteen days, which are two weeks and two days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shiva asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot ushlosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is seventeen days, which are two weeks and three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shemonah asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is eighteen days, which are two weeks and four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom tisha asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot va’chamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is nineteen days, which are two weeks and five days of the Omer.

Ha-yom esrim yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty days, which are two weeks and six days of the Omer.

Hayom e-chad v’esrim yom, shehaym shlosha shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-one days, which are three weeks of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’nayim v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot v’yom echad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-two days, which are three weeks and one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’losha v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-three days, which are three week and two days of the Omer.

Ha-yom arba-a v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-four days, which are three weeks and three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom chami-sha v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-five days, which are three weeks and four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shi-sha v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot va-chamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-six days, which are three weeks and five days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shiva v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-seven days, which are three weeks and six days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shemonah v’esrim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer) Today is twenty-eight days, which are four weeks of the Omer.

Ha-yom tisha v’esrim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot v’yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-nine days, which are four weeks and one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom shloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty days, which are four weeks and two days of the Omer.

Hayom e-chad u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-one days, which are four weeks and three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’nayim u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-two days, which are four weeks and four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’losha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot vachamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
*** LAG BA’OMER *** Today is thirty-three days, which are four weeks and five days of the Omer.

Ha-yom arba-a u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-four days, which are four weeks and six days of the Omer.

Ha-yom chami-sha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-five days, which are five weeks of the Omer.

Ha-yom shi-sha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot v’yom echad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-six days, which are five weeks and one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom shiva u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-seven days, which are five weeks and two days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shemonah u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-eight days, which are five weeks and three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom tisha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot va’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-nine days, which are five weeks and four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom arba-im yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot va’chamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty days, which are five weeks and five days of the Omer.

Hayom e-chad v’arbaim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-one days, which are five weeks and six days of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’nayim v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-two days, which are six weeks of the Omer.

Ha-yom sh’losha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot v’yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-three days, which are six weeks and one day of the Omer.

Ha-yom arba-a v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-four days, which are six weeks and two days of the Omer.

Ha-yom chami-sha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-five days, which are six weeks and three days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shi-sha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-six days, which are six weeks and four days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shiva v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot va’chami-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-seven days, which are six weeks and five days of the Omer.

Ha-yom shemonah v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-eight days, which are six weeks and six days of the Omer.

Ha-yom tisha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shiv-a shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-nine days, which are seven weeks of the Omer.

DAY 1

Ha-yom yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is one day of the Omer.

DAY 2

Ha-yom sh’nay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is two days of the Omer.

DAY 3

Ha-yom sh’losha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is three days of the Omer.

DAY 4

Ha-yom arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is four days of the Omer.

DAY 5

Ha-yom chami-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is five days of the Omer.

DAY 6

Ha-yom shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is six days of the Omer.

DAY 7

Ha-yom shiv-a yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is seven days, which are one week of the Omer.

DAY 8

Ha-yom sh’mona yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad v’yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is eight days, which are one week and one day of the Omer.

DAY 9

Ha-yom tish-a yamim, shehaym shavu-a e-chad ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is nine days, which are one week and two days of the Omer.

DAY 10

Ha-yom asara yamim, shehaym shavu-a echad ushlosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is ten days, which are one week and three days of the Omer.

DAY 11

Ha-yom achad asar yom, shehaym shavu-a echad v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is eleven days, which are one week and four days of the Omer.

DAY 12

Ha-yom sh’naym asar yom, shehaym shavu-a echad vachami-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twelve days, which are one week and five days of the Omer.

DAY 13

Ha-yom sh’losha asar yom, shehaym shavu-a echad v’shisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirteen days, which are one week and six days of the Omer.

DAY 14

Ha-yom arba-a asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is fourteen days, which are two weeks of the Omer.

DAY 15

Ha-yom chami-sha asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot v’yom echad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is fifteen days, which are two weeks and one day of the Omer.

DAY 16

Ha-yom shi-sha asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is sixteen days, which are two weeks and two days of the Omer.

DAY 17

Ha-yom shiva asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot ushlosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is seventeen days, which are two weeks and three days of the Omer.

DAY 18

Ha-yom shemonah asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is eighteen days, which are two weeks and four days of the Omer.

DAY 19

Ha-yom tisha asar yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot va’chamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is nineteen days, which are two weeks and five days of the Omer.

DAY 20

Ha-yom esrim yom, shehaym sh’nay shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty days, which are two weeks and six days of the Omer.

DAY 21

Hayom e-chad v’esrim yom, shehaym shlosha shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-one days, which are three weeks of the Omer.

DAY 22

Ha-yom sh’nayim v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot v’yom echad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-two days, which are three weeks and one day of the Omer.

DAY 23

Ha-yom sh’losha v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-three days, which are three week and two days of the Omer.

DAY 24

Ha-yom arba-a v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-four days, which are three weeks and three days of the Omer.

DAY 25

Ha-yom chami-sha v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-five days, which are three weeks and four days of the Omer.

DAY 26

Ha-yom shi-sha v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot va-chamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-six days, which are three weeks and five days of the Omer.

DAY 27

Ha-yom shiva v’esrim yom, shehaym shelosha shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-seven days, which are three weeks and six days of the Omer.

DAY 28

Ha-yom shemonah v’esrim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer) 

Today is twenty-eight days, which are four weeks of the Omer.

DAY 29

Ha-yom tisha v’esrim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot v’yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is twenty-nine days, which are four weeks and one day of the Omer.

DAY 30

Ha-yom shloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty days, which are four weeks and two days of the Omer.

DAY 31

Hayom e-chad u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-one days, which are four weeks and three days of the Omer.

DAY 32

Ha-yom sh’nayim u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-two days, which are four weeks and four days of the Omer.

DAY 33

Ha-yom sh’losha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot vachamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
*** LAG BA’OMER *** Today is thirty-three days, which are four weeks and five days of the Omer.

DAY 34

Ha-yom arba-a u’sheloshim yom, shehaym arba-a shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-four days, which are four weeks and six days of the Omer.

DAY 35

Ha-yom chami-sha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-five days, which are five weeks of the Omer.

DAY 36

Ha-yom shi-sha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot v’yom echad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-six days, which are five weeks and one day of the Omer.

DAY 37

Ha-yom shiva u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-seven days, which are five weeks and two days of the Omer.

DAY 38

Ha-yom shemonah u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-eight days, which are five weeks and three days of the Omer.

DAY 39

Ha-yom tisha u’sheloshim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot va’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is thirty-nine days, which are five weeks and four days of the Omer.

DAY 40

Ha-yom arba-im yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot va’chamisha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty days, which are five weeks and five days of the Omer.

DAY 41

Hayom e-chad v’arbaim yom, shehaym chami-sha shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-one days, which are five weeks and six days of the Omer.

DAY 42

Ha-yom sh’nayim v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-two days, which are six weeks of the Omer.

DAY 43

Ha-yom sh’losha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot v’yom e-chad ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-three days, which are six weeks and one day of the Omer.

DAY 44

Ha-yom arba-a v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot ushnay yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-four days, which are six weeks and two days of the Omer.

DAY 45

Ha-yom chami-sha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot u’shelosha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-five days, which are six weeks and three days of the Omer.

DAY 46

Ha-yom shi-sha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot v’arba-a yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-six days, which are six weeks and four days of the Omer.

DAY 47

Ha-yom shiva v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot va’chami-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-seven days, which are six weeks and five days of the Omer.

DAY 48

Ha-yom shemonah v’arbaim yom, shehaym shi-sha shavuot v’shi-sha yamim ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-eight days, which are six weeks and six days of the Omer.

DAY 49

Ha-yom tisha v’arbaim yom, shehaym shiv-a shavuot ba-omer (or la-omer).
Today is forty-nine days, which are seven weeks of the Omer.

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