Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Sometimes I think that I am learning more about Christianity working on these projects than Judaism. Let me explain.
In contrast to Parshat Tazria, when doing an Omer project would have been a cop-out, this week's parsha actually includes the mitzvah of counting the days between Pesach and Shavuot:
"And you shall count from the next day after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete; To the next day after the seventh sabbath shall you count fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to the Lord."
So I decided that - although we were already more than half way through the Omer - better late than never to do an Omer project. The inspiration for this project came straight from the blog Homeshuling. After googling "chocolate omer advent calendar," Amy Meltzer found this Omer Counter on Jewschool.
I loved the Omer charts on Homeshuling and Jewschool but I didn't actually know what "advent" was. Enter Wikipedia. "Advent is the season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas." Basically, a month-long countdown to Christmas. Apparently, advent calendars are very popular, especially homemade crafty ones! I spent an hour looking at great advent calendars. Here are some of my favorites:
Dixie cups and tissue paper:
But, as usual, my time and energy were limited so I didn't do anything this fancy. Instead, I bought a big bag of Hershey kisses and otherwise used recycled materials.
I printed two coloring pages - one for Pesach and one for Shavuot.
Then, I divided a piece of oak tag into 49 squares:
Then, I wrapped two Hershey's kisses (one for Avi, one for Maya) in red cellophane (leftover from Shmot) and gold ribbon (leftover from Terumah)MANY times. This was way too time-consuming and the girls couldn't do it themselves. Next time, I will use tins, or cups, or envelopes or something that they can fill easily themselves.
The idea of course is for us to happily and diligently count Omer together every night as a family and then eat chocolate. Although the chart hangs prominently on our front door, we STILL haven't been consistent! But, when we do, it is fun. Better next year.