Historic Congregational Items
Omer Counter

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Record 8/9
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Collection KKMI
Description A pair of mahogany Omer Counters, each with a parchment scroll and Spanish style lettering, used annually since the 18th Century by Congregation Mikveh Israel for counting of the Omer.
The mahogany case is American Chipendale and the parchment is from Amsterdam. One displays the count of the Omer, the week, and the day in Hebrew and the other in Spanish.

H=Homer
S=Semanas
D=Dias

Counting of the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot. The Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) for Rabbinic Jews, and after the weekly Shabbat during Passover for Karaite Jews, and ends the day before the holiday of Shavuot, the 'fiftieth day.'

Counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah, which was given by God on Mount Sinai at the beginning of the month of Sivan, around the same time as the holiday of Shavuot. The Sefer HaChinuch states that the Jewish people were only freed from Egypt at Passover in order to receive the Torah at Sinai, an event which is now celebrated on Shavuot, and to fulfill its laws. Thus the Counting of the Omer demonstrates how much a Jew desires to accept the Torah in his own life.

The commandment for counting the Omer is recorded in Leviticus 23:15-16:

15. And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the omer of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete;

16. even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD.
Object Name Omer Counter
Images courtesy of Congregation Mikveh Israel.

For questions, concerns or addtional information email to:    info@mikvehisrael.org
Last modified on: April 19, 2012