Scratch Off Omer Counter

Make a scratch off omer counter for Shavuot | Land of Honey

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I'm excited to share with you a new way to count the omer...with scratch offs!

Why count the omer? This is actually something we are instructed to do in Vayikra 23:15-16. The fifty days we are to count link the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Shavuot or Pentecost. This is the time period that Yahusha spent still on earth after being resurrected from the dead. What is an omer? Omer is the Hebrew word for sheaf - which is a bundle of grain. First Fruits during Matzah Week is when part of the barley harvest would be waved to YHWH, and then at Shavuot the same would be done with sheaves of wheat.

Scratch Off Omer Counter - easy DIY for the Feasts | Land of Honey

This is an easy DIY to put together since it's really just two things, a print and stickers. There is also some flexibility with how you use it. I liked the large size of this, but there's no reason you couldn't print this as an 8" x 11" in a normal printer if you would prefer. If you don't have time to order the scratch off stickers, using regular stickers to cover up the days as they go by would work. Or even just cross them off with a pen. It's up to you!

Scratch Off Omer Counter - easy DIY for the Feasts | Land of Honey

You will need:
Printable omer calendar
One inch scratch off stickers (I used gold ones from here)


Directions:
Print off the omer calendar. I got an 18" x 24" engineer print at Staples, which at $2.99 was the most cost effective option I found. The paper is thin, so it's not ideal for photographs, but works just fine for our purposes.
I used to scotch tape to place my counter on the wall. You could also glue it to a foam board or attach to canvas if you prefer.
Then place your scratch off stickers above the numbers and you are set to go! Each day scratch off another sticker until we get to Shavuot.

Scratch Off Omer Counter - easy DIY for the Feasts | Land of Honey

The past couple of years of counting have brought me more than a few days where I'm not sure if I already did my omer count or not. I remember doing it, but maybe that was yesterday? Anyone else with me? So I decided to put seven days in each row to make it easier to double check. Just make note of what day you started counting on and things will add up. You could also make a habit of counting at a certain time each day or even saying the traditional blessing of, "Blessed are You, YHWH Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments, and commanded us concerning the counting of the omer."

DIY Count the Omer Scratch Off Calendar | Land of Honey

If you look closely in the photos you may notice something is amiss. Funny story about assembling my counter: I expected to be left with one of my fifty stickers when I got done, but there were strangely two left. How could this be? Every row has seven numbers...with the exception of the second row which somehow has only six. Upon closer inspection of the photos I discovered that I had inadvertently left off day 13! I have no idea how that happened, but it is corrected in the downloadable version. Ha! 

DIY Count the Omer Scratch Off Calendar | Land of Honey

Other ideas for counting the omer:
DIY Flair Calendar
Making a paper chain
Printable Cards from Torah Sisters Magazine
Kids Counter
Kosher on A Budget's Omer Counter
Writing the count in your planner

12 Ways to Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread

Here's 12 ways you can celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey
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1. Bake matzah bread. I know the rabbinical rules to 'unleavened' can be a little intimidating but really what YHWH says is just to not let your bread rise or ferment. Making your own matzah is not difficult and it's SO MUCH BETTER than the boxed kind. Here's my recipe for matzah made with einkorn flour.
Einkorn matzah bread to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey

2. Read Scripture. This is something we desperately need to reclaim as a joy instead of drudgery. Read appropriate passages out loud, ask children to act them out, memorize a verse this week, or art journal. Our lives and special times will be so much better if YHWH's word is the cornerstone.
Scripture study during Matzah Week | Land of Honey

3. Make a matzah pinata. Isn't little Lior who made his own mini matzah pinata the cutest? Here are my directions for this super fun Unleavened Bread Week decoration and tradition. Maybe the kids could smash it and get out the goodies at the end of the week?
DIY Matzah Pinata | Land of Honey

4. Wear something festive. This Yeshua is the afikomen tee is on sale, or you could wear this shirt! Grab a matzah tie, or even get your dog involved in the festivities with a bandana or collar. Matzah socks, anyone?
Matzah socks! Perfect for Passover | Land of Honey

5. Celebrate with a sweet kosher-for-Passover treat. Not baking with flour doesn't mean you can't enjoy a special dessert! Try these chocolate donuts,  or a mixed berry pavlova, or these walnut-crusted cherry tarts from Love and Lemons.
Sour cherry tarts with walnut crust - kosher for Passover | Land of Honey

6. Make a matzo house. Definitely the answer to the traditional gingerbread house. Decorate with fruit, nuts, or candy. Use frosting or peanut butter for the glue. Martha Stewart shows us how.

7. Get your omer counter ready to go. You can make your own or print one of, but either way counting fifty days to get to Shavuot is a commandment of YHWH. Last year I did a DIY flair one that was such fun to put together. Torah Sisters Magazine also has the prettiest printable cards to use and a kids counter, and both are free!
DIY Flair Count the Omer calendar | Land of Honey

8. Watch a movie. From The Prince of Egypt to Exodus: Gods and Kings to The Ten Commandments to shorter kids movies there is a fair amount of media that portrays the Exodus story, albeit not usually in a 100% Scripturally accurate way. I find visual aids very helpful, but of course use discernment about what media you consume and be ready to fact check and discuss discrepancies with your fellow movie goers. Here is a children's cartoon on the Israelites leaving Egypt that you can watch for free.

9. Decorate with a printable. 1 Corinthians 5:8 should be central to our focus during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so print it off as a reminder. Lots of other Feast appropriate printables can be found here.
Scripture study during Matzah Week | Land of Honey

10. Clay matzos. I showed you how to make these last week. Use them for jewelry, barettes, doll houses, as flair for your omer calendar, magnets, or to decorate an inexpensive picture frame with. 
Make your own clay matzo jewelry to celebrate Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey

11. Send a card. Receiving cards in the mail was always a marker of a special time to me as a child. Use this chag sameach card from The Climbing Tree or make your own. Sending to friends and family who also celebrate the Feast is fun for all, and sending to those who don't celebrate can be a thoughtful gesture that you're thinking of them.
Printable Chag Sameach cards for Passover and Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey

12. Invite someone to dinner. This is special and memorable. Serve unleavened bread and maybe one or two of these recipes. This simple brunch is a huge crowd pleaser with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and cucumbers on fresh matzah. Discuss the meaning of the Feast and how it pertains to Yahusha to introduce your guests to this aspect of the kingdom.
Perfect brunch during Matzo Week | Land of Honey

How will you be celebrating Matzah week?

Here's 12 ways you can celebrate during Matzah Week | Land of Honey

DIY Clay Matzah Jewelry

Here's an easy craft you can make to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
DIY Clay Matzah Jewelry - cute craft to celebrate Passover | Land of Honey

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You will need:
air dry clay
paint - I used brown, white, and yellow acrylic
rolling pin
knife
fork
hot glue gun
plain pin back, barrettes, and ring

Step one: roll out your clay. How much depends on how many matzah pieces you'd like to end up with. I used about a golf ball sized piece of clay and wound up with 15 matzos. Roll to about quarter-inch thickness.
DIY Clay Matzo - Passover and Unleavened Bread craft | Land of Honey

Step two: decide what size you'd like to your matzahs to be. I cut mine into roughly one inch squares, with a few bigger ones for pins. Use your knife to cut out squares. A pizza cutter might also work well. You can be as perfectionist or not as you'd like.
DIY Clay Matzo - Passover and Unleavened Bread craft | Land of Honey

Step three: this is a fun part! Lightly press your fork onto each piece several times to give it that matzah texture. The holes need not go all the way through the clay and the end product will be sturdier if they don't. 
DIY Clay Matzo - Passover and Unleavened Bread craft | Land of Honey

If you'd like to use your matzahs to make a necklace with, now would be a good time to poke a hole so you can string it up later.

Step four: let your matzah squares dry out. Mine were good to go the next day, but yours may vary depending on thickness and the type of clay you use. Just wait for them to be completely dry before the next step. It shouldn't take more than a few days!
DIY Clay Matzo - Passover and Unleavened Bread craft | Land of Honey

Step five: when your squares are dry, it's time to paint. I mixed brown and white paint to make a shade of tan, and then used yellow and more of the dark brown, going for the golden brown look of matzah.
DIY Clay Matzo - Passover and Unleavened Bread craft | Land of Honey

I started off with painting the squares tan, then adding small specks of the dark brown and splotches of yellow. This helps to mimic the speckled look of traditional matzah. If you're not happy with how one looks, just paint over it and try again!
DIY Clay Matzo - Passover and Unleavened Bread craft | Land of Honey

Step six: I'm sorry but you'll have to wait one more time for these to dry. Mine were okay after a couple hours.

Once they are dry, congratulate yourself. You just made clay matzahs!
DIY Matzah ring for Passover and Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey
Step seven: grab your jewelry backs and hot glue gun. I painted the barrettes cream before hot gluing on the matzah, but other than that, just decide which direction you'd like your pieces to go and hot glue them into place.
DIY Matzah ring for Passover and Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey

Now you have matzah jewelry! Pretty easy, wasn't it?
DIY Matzah hair clips for Passover and Unleavened Bread | Land of Honey

There are many other things you can do with with these matzah pieces too. Instead of gluing to a ring or barrette you could attach them to magnets. Leave them as is for Lego sized matzah. Put pushpins on the back for your Count the Omer Flair Calendar. I'm planning on getting a picture frame and gluing these matzos around the edges for a cute decoration for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
DIY Clay Matzah Jewelry - cute craft to celebrate Passover | Land of Honey

Living the Torah Portions: Terumah

Recipes, crafts, and DIY inspiration for the Torah Portions | Land of Honey

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Terumah - Heave offering - Exodus 25 - 27:19 - A Virtual Tour of the Tabernacle
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many for a video tour? Since Terumah details many elements of the Tabernacle in the wilderness why not have a look around to get a better grasp of what it was actually like?
Virtual tour of the wilderness Tabernacle | Land of Honey

Tetzaveh - You shall command - Exodus 27:20 - 30:10 - Olive and Grape Crostini from Smitten Kitchen
Olives are significant part of the Tabernacle structure, their oil being burned in the menorah and being mixed into the dough for the bread offerings. Incorporate some type of olives or olive oil into a meal this week as a reminder of their many appearances in Scripture.
Olive and Grape Crostini | Land of Honey

Ki Tisa - When you take - Exodus 30:11 - 35 - YHWH necklace - Alephtav1
Torah portion Ki Tisa contains the famous, "I am yod hey vav hey," line from YHWH, making this an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with it. Learn how to write his name or get yourself a reminder of it like this bracelet. Wearing something with the name on it in Hebrew or Aramaic or even English can also be a conversation starter.
The name of YHWH in paleo Hebrew - Torah portion Ki Tisa | Land of Honey

Vayakhel / Pekudei - Exodus 35 - Leviticus 1 - DIY Woven Tapestry - A Beautiful Mess
More details of the wilderness Tabernacle are given this week and the entrance to it was woven. That's not something we see everyday, so familiarize yourself with what that would have looked like by looking at a woven sweater or works at an art show. You can also try your hand at it to really appreciate the skill of the artisans who did the work in the Tabernacle.
DIY Woven Tapestry - Torah portion Vayakhel | Land of Honey

Vayikra - He called - Leviticus 1 - 6 - 7 Ways Kids Can Give Tzedekah - Torah Sisters Magazine
The first part of the book of Vayikra contains instructions for offerings and sacrifices. And I hate to say this, but many of us just aren't very well practiced in giving to YHWH's kingdom. This list will inspire children and adults to learn to give well. We can actually get to the point where the giving of our finances, time, and resources brings us joy.
Learning to give tzedekah in honor of Torah portion Vayikra | Land of Honey

Tzav - Command - Leviticus 6 - 8:36 - Homemade Body Butter - The Merry Thought
Tzav continually mentions both anointing oil and frankincense oil. Thanks to essential oils growing in popularity many of us now understand that the oil used in the Tabernacle worked as an antiseptic and had a wonderful, very strong scent to it. Both of these would have been important in an environment of animal sacrifice. Even though YHWH forbid us from using his recipe for anointing oil in our personal lives we can still enjoy the benefits of the essential oil in a recipe for lotion or soap.
Body butter recipe for Torah portion Tzav | Land of Honey