What values are most important to us? What is true strength? What constitutes real kindness?
How and when can the average 21st century family discuss these questions? There are few opportunities for parents and children to think together about values and spirituality in our always-on, very connected and busy culture.
This books invites parents, teens and school-aged children to indulge together in meaningful conversation during the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. The spiritual path of Counting the Omer is, of course, not only for children. This guide is child-friendly, but not child-only.
Counting the Omer, the Biblical command to attend closely to the 49 days separating Passover and Shavuot, was transformed by ancient mystics into an invitation to contemplate God's attributes and learn to emulate them wisely. The Omer began as the celebration of the new harvest; so too can it be a time for growing our humanity by enriching it with sparks of Divinity.
With quotes from philosophers, scientists, artists, historical personalities, and authors, Counting the Days builds a framework for appreciative self-reflectionon on the structure of the Sefirot - the mystics' description of seven discernable traits of the Divine. It is designed for use year after year, with simple contemplative exercises and meditations offered for those ready to dive more deeply than they can through words alone.
With Counting the Days as your guide, you and your family can take the journey to Shavuot together, and arrive feeling grateful, renewed and connected.
Advance Praise for Counting the Days
"Counting the Days offers a powerful way to bring the spiritual practice of Counting the Omer to the whole family with depth and meaning. It's a must-have in the Jewish home."
--Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Author of Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting
"Lea Gavrielli has written a beautiful, wise and compassionate guide through the Omer. It is filled with practical mindfulness instructions, ideas and quotes that open the heart and stimulate the mind. I could see using it over and over again throughout the whole year and not just the 7 weeks."
--Larry Schwartz, Chair of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality
"Counting the Days is an invitation to adventure, using the Counting of the Omer as a framework for family conversation about ideas, values and the tradition. From Helen Keller to Herzl, Mother Teresa to Jason Mraz, wisdom and insights from a wide range of times and perspectives gather on the page to offer different pathways to insight and truth. Having watched some of these ideas engage our school's students and teachers, I highly recommend this text as a way to reinvigorate the tradition of the Counting of the Omer, ensuring that the journey from Pesach to Shavuot is one filled with discovery and delight."
--Rabbi Andrew Davids, Head of School, Beit Rabban Day School, New York City