Moon Over Maui

A Jewish Mystical Journey through the Year

This Day Counts!

Written By: Jueli Garfinkle - Apr• 24•12

Every day counts. That’s obvious, really. A cliché, even. But counting every day of this month is the focus of the Iyar moon, which hangs in the sky April 23 through May 21. Iyar celebrates the everyday miracle of being alive (!)

There are times when you know, without any doubt, that a miracle has occurred. Perhaps you’re nearly drowning at sea only to find yourself breathlessly thrown up on the shore to safety. Was it a wave? Was it the Divine hand? Only your heart will ever know for sure.

The focus of the Iyar moon cycle is not these larger-than-life-like “Divine Fireworks.” Instead, Iyar centers on remembering—and counting—every day as a miracle, no matter what. Some days are wonderful and joyous; others are dull, dreary, and draining; some even, God forbid, are filled with sadness, grief, and fear. Whatever your day-to-day experience, it counts. It’s astonishing!

High moments are magnificent, of course: the births and weddings, promotions and holidays. But Iyar is a month of acknowledging and counting every day as a unique and worthy gift.  It is the only moon cycle of the year that has a formal mitzvah associated with every single day of the month: to count the Omer, to count the days, to acknowledge the bounty and the harvest of every day. It is a gift to be alive and participate in this very moment.

Throughout this moon cycle, carve out time to count the days and acknowledge the miracles of daily experience. You can make a mental list or write them down. Or, just exclaim them aloud.  Here’s a spontaneous sample listing from my day.

Everyday miracles today, the seventeenth day, which is two weeks and three days of the Omer:

  • I am alive!
  • A fallen Iris bud blossoming in a ramekin of tap water.
  • The self-defined “silly mind” of my exuberant four-and-a-half year old boy.
  • Writing in a public library, where information, comfort, and internet are free (!).
  • The wrinkled nose of my man after he kissed my garlic-rosemary breath.
  •  Driving a 7-mile bridge (25th longest bridge in the world) atop the glistening bay.
  • Sitting upright in a padded chair.
For more in-depth journey of refining yourself during these weeks, subscribe online to a daily omer email.

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References:

My gratitude to two New York City rabbis whom I’ve never met in person, but to whom I regularly listen and learn from via the (everyday miraculous!) technology of the 21st century.

Meaningful Life Center, Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Iyyun Center for Jewish Spirituality, Rav DovBer Pinson

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One Comment

  1. Lee Lavi says:

    ניסים ונפלאות = Miracles and wonders. Continuously.

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