We are in the seven week stretch between Passover and Shavuot, a period that began in ancient times with the offering of an omer’s worth of freshly harvested grain in the Temple. (That’s around two or three liters.) This count is known as counting the omer, with the number increasing every night as we count up to 50.
The tricky thing is that if you miss a day, you’re out of the game — you don’t get to recite the blessing for the nightly mitzvah.
So the key is to remember to count, every single night of the seven weeks. Nowadays, of course, there are apps for that, and email and whatsapp alerts, as well as various books of nightly meditations; the newest addition to that is a coloring book that was published this year.
Still, of all the ways to count the omer, our new favorite is the wooden laser-cut omer counter crafted by Jo Kamm of Kansas City, Missouri. Each night, you turn the ratcheted dial, and with a satisfying click, the counter points to that night’s number.
Four inches wide and three-eighths of an inch thick, it is held together with tightly fitting precision parts. In the word of its Etsy page, “Made of laser-cut hardboard, the burn marks give it a faint smell of smoke and spices and the look of an antique heirloom.”
Mr. Kamm has revised the design each year, since he first crafted one for his brother in 2014. This year it features a traditional Moorish design.
Mr. Kamm has sold more this year than ever before; but as an item he makes by hand with an assist from his 40 watt Glowforge laser cutter, supplies are limited. You can find it at https://etsy.me/3aaAymx.