Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

The Season of Counting

HHope CountingThis is a meditation on counting. During the seven weeks from Passover, which marks the exodus from Egypt, to Shavuot, the holiday commemorating revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and weeks. It’s called the Counting the Omer. We remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. This prayer, and the act of counting, are reminders to stay present. Here’s a link to my Times of Israel essay on counting the Omer. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. This piece appears in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

The Season of Counting
This is the season of counting:
Of counting days and nights,
Of counting the space between slavery of the body
And freedom of the soul.

This is a season of seeing:
Of seeing earth and sky,
Of seeing renewal in the land
And renewal in our hearts.

This is a season of journey:
Of inner journeys and outer journeys
Taking us places that need us,
Places that we need.

This is the season of counting,
The season of joyous anticipation,
Of wondrous waiting, in devotion and awe,
For our most precious gift,
The gift that binds our hearts to each other across the millennia,
The gift that binds our souls to G-d’s Holy Word.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut – Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
  • Shavuot

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Jan Zabransky on


Thank You for Your Support
Your contribution helps support the creation of new prayers available to all on this site.

4 Responses to “The Season of Counting”

  1. tobendlight

    My dear friend Joe Tye sent me this note via my personal email:

    “Beautiful illustration of the paradox Einstein spoke of – the things which can be counted often don’t count and the things that count often can’t be counted.”

    I replied: “Nice thought, because you’ve nailed the essence here: counting the space between one holy day and the next is is not really about the counting… It’s about the journey from one scared moment to the next.”

    To which Joe said: “Did you mean one sacred moment or one scared moment? And isn’t it interesting how close those words are to each other.”

  2. tobendlight

    Here’s the text of a recent post from Joe’s Spark Plug enewsletter (

    My buddy Alden Solovy writes beautiful prayers in his blog To Bend Light. The other day he sent me an email in which he mentioned moving from one scared moment to the next. He meant, of course, moving from one sacred moment to the next. But it struck me as more than a coincidence that if you merely transpose two letters, scared becomes sacred – or sacred becomes scared.

    It reminded me of the universal and eternal interconnection between fear and faith. Faith can be a powerful antidote to fear, and fear can be a powerful catalyst for faith.

    “Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.”
    – Harry Emerson Fosdick


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS