Omer Journal (PDF download)

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The first night of Passover celebrates the exodus from Egyptian slavery as a universal message of freedom from tyranny. The exodus was only the start of a process of liberation, because “it is easier to get the slave out of Egypt than to get Egypt out of the slave.”

Changing one’s self and the associated thoughts, emotions and behaviors is often a prolonged and challenging journey. The Hebrews’ journey from slavery to freepersons, though not fully completed, found its fulfillment after 49 days. Those former slaves shed enough of their previous identity to become a free people and embrace a mission and collective purpose.

There is a seven-week count (some may be familiar with it being referred to as the Counting of the Omer) which starts on the second day of Passover. Each day is counted, for a total of 49 days. The intention is to be more fully present and to make every day count. Kabbalah added another dimension to the count. 6 Each of the seven weeks is aligned with particular energy from the Tree of Life which provides for spiritual reflection.

While this count can be done in a rote manner (day one, day two) commemorating what others did in the past, the mystical teachings transformed it from an ancient narrative into a present personal story.

We are taking a novel approach to the 49-day count which offers a holistic slant on contemplating change in your life. We invite you to use the seven weeks as an opportunity to identify and work on a specific goal (or goals) of the desired change in your life. There is a parallel process to the transformation of the former slaves and their journey and your committing to a journey of change for yourself (whatever “enslavement” you need to emancipate from). The count and its associated energies act as a guide to move you from contemplating to completing change.

Your change can be relatively small, such as changing or modifying a particular behavior or habit. You can also choose to implement a significant change such as overcoming an addiction or evolving your identity. As an aid to understanding your process of change we will “check in” to see where the Hebrews were during their seven-week journey.

It was a process for them to change their sense of who they were. The Biblical narrative relates that on the Passover night they crossed the border of Egypt with exhilaration. Perhaps they had no idea where they were going, but they were clear where they no longer wanted to be and how they no longer wanted to be perceived and treated. This is a good starting point for your own contemplation of change.

Feel your excitement as you look at this blank canvas of seven weeks (sort of like a desert landscape) and contemplate: I can and will change! I can take this on!

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