The Counting of the Omer originated in a deep, loving relationship to the earth.
For us, it has become process of re-creation, re-birth and re-newal of a sacred bond that grounds our hearts to the earth and lifts our souls to the heavens.
The 49 day period is counted in days and weeks.
The 7 days of each of the 7 weeks constitutes the 49 days.
Each week is represented by a specific sacred attribute, called Sefirah from the mystical Tree of Life.
Each day within that week is represented by an aspect of that attribute. We count the lower 7 Sefirot for the seven weeks. For each day, one Sefirah is counted within the Sefirah of the Week.
The famous Kabbalist, the RaMaK, Reb Moshe Kordevero (ca. 18th cent) wrote a powerful work entitled PaRDeS. In it he explains the word Sefirah. He expounds that the word is related to the 3 mystical aspects of creation. MiSPaR, number, SiPuR, the story and Sapir the sapphire, the translucent crystal of illumination that is discussed in many works of Kabbalah.
Each week, for the next 7 weeks I shall share with you the spiritual attribute, the Sefirah for the week, and the daily Sefirah SheBSefirah, the aspect within the attribute, according to Kabbalah. You might try an exercise, using these as meditation points in which you stand back and take an objective look at your subjective emotions (no small task in and of itself).
Seeing their strong an weak points will, in turn, enable you to apply yourself to the development and perfection of these feelings as you grow towards emotional and spiritual maturity.
The evening of April 21 after the second Seder, begins the counting of the Omer. Today we carry the Omer into the mystical mystery of Kabbalah. We count the Omer by dwelling on the Branches, the Sefirot, of the Tree of Life
The first week is Hesed. Hesed is unconditional love. It is compassion without bounds. It is the offering of love without the thought of recompense.
Day 1) Hesed SheBHesed:
Unconditional love offered freely even to those for whom we find difficulty offering love.
Day 2) Gevurah SheBHesed:
Tough love, that teaches boundaries and consequences but measured with compassion and caring.
Day 3) Tiferet SheBHesed:
Balanced compassion offered without judgment but with honesty and the frailness of fairness.
Day 4) Netzah SheBHesed:
Acts of loving-kindness is compassion in motion. True victory comes into the world through love activated in action.
Day 5) Hod SheBHesed:
The love that sleeps quietly purring in my heart. It is the quiet cuddling, the comfortable silence of deep felt love.
Day 6) Yesod SheBHesed:
Soulful love that goes even deeper than the heart. Love that is core to our inner existence and our outer manifestation. It is the love that connects heaven and earth.
Day 7) Malchut SheBHesed:
Love given to the world around us is Malchut SheBHesed. Love that is felt must be fostered. For our planet to survive we must walk the path of love. For humanity to thrive we must live our love.