Culture, Identity, Religion

The Edible Omer Counter returns. Updated for 2010!

Back by popular demand, the Edible Omer Counter. Notable for being the only omer counter that gives you motivation to see the Omer right the way through, this one’s got chocolate.
You will need: kosher-for-Pesach choccies, tissue paper, yarn, scissors, pen.*
Cut squares of tissue paper. I used purple over white here (these pictures are from a couple years ago, I haven’t taken pictures since then). Of course you could also use wrapping paper, fabric, foil, whatever takes your fancy.

Scrunch the paper up around the choccy and tie it with yarn. You can’t really see the colours so well in the photo – sorry; I’ve got a nice layered purple-and-white look going, by having the inside square, the purple one, be slightly bigger than the white outside one.
Write the numbers 1-49 on the bottoms of the choccy packages, and use the yarn ties to attach them to one long piece of yarn. You could make it more fun (for kids, naturally – right?) by doing them out of order, and/or by having different sorts of choccies in the packages. Or little toys.
Then hang it on the wall. It ends up being pretty long, so you might have to loop it festively over something.
Starting at the second seder, after dark each night, count the Omer (helpful chart) and eat your choccy.

2010 expansion…now with kabbalah!

In Kabbalah, each of the Omer weeks is associated with one of the seven lower sefirot: Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. The days of the week are also associated with the sefirot, in the same order, and then you get each day of the Omer having a different combination – so day 1 is chesed in chesed, day 2 is gevurah in chesed, and so on. See wikipedia for more, if you care to.
The interesting bit here is that the sefirot also have associated colours. Swiping from a random internet source, we have Chesed – silver with a bluish tinge; Gevurah – red; Tiferes – light green, like a ripening etrog (citron); Netzach – light pink; Hod – dark pink; Yesod – rainbow of hues including blue, red, yellow; Malchut – dark blue with purple tinge. Almost black.
The book Kabbalah: an introduction to Jewish mysticism (another random internet source; kabbalah isn’t my thing, particularly) talks about how one form of kabbalistic practice is to meditate on the colours of two different sefirot and then combine the two into a coalescent colour.
So here’s your challenge this year – go and design your own Omer counter which responds to this idea. Share your pictures. There may even be a small prize (a real one, not internet cookies) for the one that makes me go “squee” loudest.

* Strictly speaking, I suppose only the first seven choccies need to be kosher for Pesach, as long as the rest don’t contain actual chametz. But if you’ve bought a whole package of Pesach candies, what are you going to do with the rest of them?

4 thoughts on “The Edible Omer Counter returns. Updated for 2010!

  1. So, in Kabbalah, there is all this language about sefirot. Part of me thinks, that’s nice.
    The more analytically critical part of is confused. So, kabbalists just arbitrarily proclaim something, and it’s so? What the hell does it all mean? Is there anything in the observable world that kabbalists are describing, or is it all a human invented meditation scheme?
    The phrase ‘is associated’ can mean ‘some kabbalist said so’ but also ‘some old-timey kabbalist has figured out that it is so.’ Which is it? Any info is welcome.

  2. Jew Guevara writes:
    Is there anything in the observable world that kabbalists are describing, or is it all a human invented meditation scheme?
    They’re describing what existed before the observable world. That’s what I heard from Madonna anyway.

  3. Shalom! My class already made their omer counters for this year, but I’ll combine your idea with mine for next year. The counting of the omer is by day and week — 3rd day of 4th week — for 7 full weeks plus the day that is Shavuot. My kids had 7 coffee stirrers stuck in styrofoam, and 50 pony beads to put onto the sticks, one a day, filling each week’s stick with 7 beads. Next year I’ll have them eat the candy and put the wrapper onto the sticks instead of pony beads. That way they’ll remember — after all who can forget chocolate? Thanks for the great idea! (How can I attach a photo?)

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