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Week One: Hesed - Love and Kindness
The commandment for counting the Omer is from the Torah, written in Vayikra 23:15 & 16:

You shall count from the day after Shabbat, from the day that you bring the waving omer, seven full weeks, even to the next day after the seven-week - you shall count 50 days, and then you will present a new Mincha (thanksgiving offering) unto your God.
Each night, when the sun sets, say the Bracha and then count the appropriate day of the Omer (below). 

(Click to enlarge image)
Kindness is Magic

How do we cultivate love? As we enter the rest of the holiday of Pesach, we recount and relive our liberation from bondage, thanks to God’s enduring kindness and unbounded love. How do we, then, choose to enter the world seeking love? Love of the other, love of the self, love of those whom it is difficult to love?

Click on the calendar icons below to add the daily prayer prompts to your personal calendar.

Saturday, April 21

Day 1 - April 21 - What was a “Red Sea” moment for you? Or, when was a time you have felt the overwhelming love of God?

Praise Adonai, for God is good! God’s Hesed/love endures forever! God split the sea of Reeds, God’s Hesed/love endures forever! God brought Israel through the waters, God’s Hesed/Love endures forever! - Psalm 136

Sunday, April 22

Day 2 - April 22 - How might I enter the world in a loving way?

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? - Hillel

 

Monday, April 23

Day 3 - April 23 - How might I be kind to myself and express that kindness with others?

I am ready and willing to take on the foundational obligation of loving my neighbor as I love myself. - Morning liturgy

 

Tuesday, April 24

Day 4 - April 24 - How might I magnify the love in the world around me?

Who is wise? One who learns from everyone. Who is strong? One who controls their instincts. Who is rich? One who is satisfied with their portion. Who is honored? One who honors others. - Pirkei Avot 4:1

Day 5 - April 25 - How can I learn to love all the parts of my self and others in our complexity?

When a stranger lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The stranger living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were strangers in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. - Vayikra 19:34

Thursday, April 26

Day 6 - April 26 - What obligations does love bring?

Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai: verbal wrongdoing is worse than monetary wrongdoing. Why? of the first it is written “And you shall fear your God” but not of the second. Rabbi Eleazar said: one affects the person, the other only his money. Rabbi Samuel bar Nahmani said: for one restoration is possible, but not for the other. - Talmud, Bava Metzia 59b

Friday, April 27

Day 7 - April 27 - How do I teach and learn to love?

You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, and with all your might.

Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day.

Teach them earnestly to your children.

Say them when you are at home and when you are on the road,

when you lie down and when you get up.

Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead;

inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Thus you shall remember to observe all My commandments

and to be holy to your God.

I am Adonai, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God:

I am Adonai your God.

(Devarim 6:5-12)

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