As we prepare to begin counting the omer on the second night of Pesach, we note that many of us have already spent the year counting days (and nights) toward many goals. The pandemic has given many of us nothing but time for such calculus.
Those who have already received their vaccines certainly counted down the days until they could hug their grandchildren and close relatives again, seeking to recapture some of their formerly vibrant social lives with family and friends. We pray that the safety promised to us by vaccination will bring our community continued and swift healing.
Others are counting the days until the skies open up again, so they can get on a plane and go see loved ones, or something other than the walls of their own homes. Our children, too, have been counting the days until they can participate fully in sports again, attend games and cheer on their favorite team, go to playdates and enjoy a variety of other indoor events with one another. We hope those returns will be swift and sweet indeed.
We have all been counting toward something, even if that is eating inside a restaurant again or, for those of us who have needed to be extra vigilant with social distancing, going to a store. Many of us have been so cloistered with the cold weather this winter, that we’ll even relish dusting off our lawn chairs again and setting up a Shabbat or Yom Tov afternoon outdoor room in our front yard, ready to greet our neighbors.
This season of sefirat ha'omer, even as we eschew music and loud parties, let’s still make every effort to make the moments count. We daven that the sorrow and sacrifice of this past year will give way to a season of positivity, joy and ever-increasing unity and togetherness. We hope that this Pesach will usher in a season of goodness, chesed and health for all of our communities. Chag kasher v’sameach!