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Counting the Omer in the Digital Age

Technology has made counting the Omer, the period of forty-nine days between Passover and Shavuot, easy, convenient and enjoyable.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/22/2012, 11:52 AM

Smartphone (illustration)
Smartphone (illustration)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Technology has made counting the Omer, the period of forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot, all the more easy, convenient and enjoyable.

Omer counting devices and special Omer calendars have long been relied upon to help individuals remember the correct count, but in the Digital Age, there are websites, mobile applications and text message reminders to help keep the counting correct, says the Jewish Week.

The Internet design and development company, Rusty Brick, first released its Counting the Omer app, free of charge, in 2009 and continues to remain an industry leader.

The app provides an Omer calendar and includes the blessings and spiritual information pertaining to each day of the period.

While the free version of the app does not provide a daily reminder to count, the 99-cent version does. Moshe Berman's Ultimate Omer 2 ($2.99) reminds users to count the Omer by playing the phone’s default alarm sound.

Mosaica Press released a new app ($4.99), based on Rabbi Yaakov Haber's Spiritual Grow book, which helps individuals count the Omer and also provides daily insights with a Kabbalistic flavor, notes the Jewish Week. The app is available in iPhone and iPad formats.

Some of the app's features include the proper blessing to recite before counting each night, automatic adjustment for time zone and location, and social network integration to share on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, a live blog on the Huffington Post features blogs, prayers, art and reflections for all 49 days of spiritual reflection during the Omer.

These are merely a few of the many ways that technology can be used to benefit spiritual purposes.