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.
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!
You will need:
Printable omer calendar
One inch scratch off stickers (I used gold ones from here)
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 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.
Update: A friend told me she is going to take hers to an office supply store to get it laminated. Her plan is to mark the days with dry erase markers and use it each year!
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."
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!
Other ideas for counting the omer:
DIY Flair Calendar
Making a paper chain
Printable Cards from Torah Sisters Magazine
Kosher on A Budget's Omer Counter
Writing the count in your planner