Rockets count down

Their launch to space,

Seconds matter, and are counted

In every race;

Count the minutes of arrival

Of a bus, train, or plane,

Days to go, when we’ll see

A loved one again.

Count the seconds we wait

On street corners to cross,

The days and years of sorrow,

Our mourning and loss.


We count down to celebrations,

To make happy memories,

Vacation, retirement,



The Omer is more

Than just a countdown of time;

Its connection goes beyond

Our earthly timeline.


Hashem told Avraham

“S’for ha’kochavim”

Count the stars

Of your y’ladim;

As numerous as they

Will be, their trials and palls,

They will shine the brightest

When the darkest night falls.


At Pesach, we leave

Mitzrayim behind,

Saw exaltation on Sukkos,

Heaven and Earth aligned.


Boaz of Yehudah

Reaped his fields of barley,

Then, stepped up

Taking responsibility:

Fulfilled yibum

Married his poor kinsman, Ruth;

The line of Mashiach began

When Boaz owned up in truth.


Shlomo HaMelech

Said the voice of barley,

If it could, would say:

“Pray for me!”

Barley, humble food

For animals and the poor,

Pours out its soul,

Hat in hand, at Hashem’s door.


Wheat, rich and affluent,

Would say:

“Hashem, I’m calling You

From very far away.”


Coming out of vulnerability,

Raised up

To wealth and stability,

Beware, for when

That day has come,

Many forget

Where we come from.

Many have already paid the cost,

Dispirited, swallowed up

Among the nations, lost.

Remember Mitzrayim, do not fail,

Stand up and be counted

For Israel.


From the ashes

Of devastation

Israel returned,

Hashem’s Jewish Nation,

At the forefront

Of every aspiration

That betters

Mankind’s situation.


Hashem, please teach us

The number of our days,

So that we may acquire

A heart of wisdom,

May we look to our ways.

The journey from slavery,

The Holocaust,

Wandering Your world,

Exiled and storm-tossed,

From past to future;

HaKadosh Baruch Hu,

All we could ever count on

Has always been You.

 By Sharon Marcus