Counting the Omer

Imagine a 7x7 grid.

Each column, from right to left is a different color of the rainbow at 25% concentration: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Each row, from top to bottom is also a different color of the rainbow at 75% concentration: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

That makes the top right square 100% red and the bottom left square 100% violet. A diagonal line of squares of 100% orange, yellow, green, blue and indigo connects them.

Each square represents another in the colors of the spectrum divided into 49 equal parts.

If you begin counting in the upper right corner on the first day of Sefirah, you begin with the "bright red of rebellion" and end forty-nine days later at the "brilliant violet of royalty" ready to receive Torah. Each day of Sefirah we focus on that color (and its qualities) as it appears in our world.

I would like to see such an Omer Calendar, but I don't have the tools. I would also like to see a Web site people could visit each day. That day's page would have the day number and the color. No more.

If you know someone who has such skills, please let me know.

After making the colored pencil drawing that you see above, I noticed at the very center we find the pure green of vegetative life.

I shared this idea with a number of friends. Rabbi Amy Scheinerman and her family accepted the challenge.

The more that people worked on the idea, the more possibilities emerged. Rabbi Scheinerman's father (Andrew Ross z"l, a graphic artist) arranged the squares in a spiral. If you look at it in three-dimensional space we begin at the foot of Sinai and climb up to the summit in time for Shavuot!

Danyel Fisher, a second year graduate student in the Computer Sciences Department at UC Berkeley saw my Omer Calendar and accepted the challenge of creating the Javascript version that presents a page of the appropriate color each day. Thank you!
This has not been available for a couple of years. I'm looking for Danyel to see if we can't restore it.

Since then, others have developed new Omer Calendars using the medium of the WWW. Brian Rosman invites us to "Count the omer with Homer!" at the "Homer" Calendar. Enjoy the count.

A Starting Point

© Mark Hurvitz 22 March, 2001
Last updated January 28, 2009 (3 Sh'vat 5769)