Counting the Omer

As of Sunday, March 28, we are in the period of the Omer, that countdown of 49 days to our next Festival, Shavuot. By doing so, we are preparing ourselves to receive Torah at Sinai. This Omer period is a time of semi-mourning, so no haircuts, no listening to instrumental music, or dancing, or weddings or other simchas are traditionally undertaken – except for the 33rd day, Lag B’Omer. 

There is a mystical tradition that has been revived in some communities where we look to a chart delineating some of the qualities of the Divine to emulate on each day. It is a profound practice and in contemplating how to bring these qualities into each day, we are a step closer. Here is one translation of these attributes.  To use the chart you read the guiding principle of the week through the lens of the principle of the day – so day 2 is Chesed guided by the attribute of gevurah. Etc.

The seven attributes are:

1. Chesed ― Loving-kindness
2. Gevurah ― Justice and discipline
3. Tiferet ― Harmony, compassion
4. Netzach ― Endurance
5. Hod ― Humility
6. Yesod ― Bonding
7. Malchut ― Sovereignty, leadership