כ׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״ד (April 20, 2014)
The 49 days between Passover and Shavuot are known as the Omer. The days of the Omer are traditionally counted. This app is a tool to help count the Omer by keeping track of the count. Instructions for counting the omer are at NeoHasid.org.
This app is a collaborative work between David Cooper and Rabbi David Seidenberg.
1. The Omer
Every night during the omer we say a blessing for doing a mitzvah and then say the count which leads us from Passover to Shavuot, from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest and, ultimately, to the first offering on Shavuot itself of wheat from the new harvest, in the form of 12 loaves. Long ago, when the omer was counted, wheat from each week would be brought into the Temple and waved as an offering and a prayer that the harvest would come in successfully.
Each day between the beginning of Passover and Shavuot gets counted, forty-nine days in all, seven weeks of seven days. That makes the omer period a miniature version of the Shmitta and Yovel (Jubilee) cycle of seven cycles of seven years. Just as that cycle is one of resetting society’s clock to align ourselves with freedom and with the needs of the land, this cycle too is a chance to align ourselves with the rhythms of spring and the spiritual freedom represented by the Torah.
The omer count starts the evening of each day.
2. Application Details
Because there are seven lower Sefirot in Kabbalah associated with days of the week (and probably because of the homonym “sefirah”, which also means counting), there is also a custom to say which Sefirah is connected with that day and that week (e.g. for Lag B’omer, the fifth day of the fifth week is Hod sheb’Hod). In order to visualize this, the Sefirot are drawn on each screen with a dot in the center of the Sefirah for the day, and a blue ring around the Sefirah for the week. This can be viewed in English or Transliterated Hebrew.
There are four screens.
1. The Info Screen:
This screen contains a description of the other screens and features of the omer counter.
2. The Main Screen:
The app opens to this screen. The first line is the number of days of the omer for the night. The second line is the number of days until shavuot. The third line has todays date, and the day and week corresponding to the sefirot for the night. The last line shows the relationship between the sefirot in either English or transliterated Hebrew.
3. The Blessing Screen:
The Blessing screen can be accessed from the Main screen. It displays the blessing in either English or a transliteration of the Hebrew. The blessing is traditionally said in the evening right before counting the omer.
4. The Count Screen:
The Count screen can be accessed from the Blessing screen. It displays the text for counting the omer in either English or a transliteration of the Hebrew. This is traditionally read in the evening immediately after saying the blessing.
Note: The ending of the Hebrew is shown as ‘ba-omer’ which is the Ashkenazi tradition, while ‘la-omer’ is the Sefardi and Chasidic tradition.
The upper button cycles through three views:
Bless – go to the Blessing Screen
Count – go to the Count Screen
Done – go to the Main Screen
The lower buttons are the following:
More – turns on the other buttons.
Less – turns off the other buttons.
Info – go to this screen.
Hebrew – changes the text to transliterated Hebrew
English – changes the text to English
Day – toggles the Day Dialog
Screen Info has 2 additional buttons:
(Main/Bless/Count) – go to the screen of that name.
Top – go to the top of this Screen
This allows you to either view tonight, which is the default, or last night in case you didn’t count last night. (The last night screen is for the counting during the daytime, and, traditionally, the blessing is not said.)
Button Donate: goes to a mobile page for making a donation for this app. Donations will go towards maintenance of this app and we will give a portion to Tzedakah.
There is a custom not to shave or cut our hair during this time. One possible explanation is that the growth of our hair is a prayer with our bodies for the growth of the wheat.
The ending of the Hebrew count is shown as ‘ba-omer’ which is the Ashkenazi tradition, while ‘la-omer’ is the Sefardi and Chasidic tradition.
Rabbi David Seidenberg
The paid and the free version of this app are the same. Buying the paid app is much appreciated!
Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Released: May 10, 2009
Publisher: David Cooper © 2009 David G. Cooper and Rabbi David M. Seidenberg
Price: $0.99 (buy app)
Price: Free (get app)
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