Counting The Days

There are so many reasons that we count days:

  • Remember to take this pill every other day.
  • How much longer will it be till spring finally gets here?
  • How many more school days until the end of the year?
  • How long has it been since the loss of my friend?

Originally published in the May Connection

In the Jewish calendar, there is a period of time set aside just to count the days. As silly as that might sound, it’s both interesting (intellectually) and challenging (spiritually). From an intellectual perspective, we connect the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot – reminding ourselves that our freedom wasn’t the culmination of our story (Yay! – it’s over). Rather it’s the beginning. Now that we are free, we need to make something of our lives. And so the Exodus leads to Mt. Sinai – and the story of our first encounter with Torah.

From a spiritual perspective, we try to remember to count these 49 days – just one moment to notice and bless the day. It’s no simple task. I have not yet remembered – in all my attempts – to notice, count and bless the day for 49 consecutive days – ever. This year, I’m better. Today is the 22nd day of the Omer – and I have remembered each of these 22 days. I’m hoping that I’m getting better at gratitude – and that that’s the reason I’m remembering to notice and bless these days.

So it was perfect that I happened to find a note that I wrote several years ago – which accompanied publicity about the annual Kol Ami Retreat. Here’s the note:

When this weekend of the temple retreat ends, and you go back home, you will find yourself counting the days until the next one! We would truly love to have you join us for what is the most amazing, fun, warm and beautiful experience of community. Hoping to spend this unforgettable week-end with you, Shira

Everything I wrote years ago is true! Don’t miss it. It is truly incredible. From campfires and Havdalah – to family and kid time – adult time – do nothing but sit by the lake time – learn, dance, drink, bike, tennis, talk, connect. Memorial Day Weekend – May 24th -26th, 2013. You’ll find it on our home page at

Really hoping to spend it with you, Shira