Counting the Omer, Growing the Beard…

Counting the Omer, Growing the Beard…
Originally uploaded by Daniel Greene.

…maybe. I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking and feeling about a lot of things, really– too much to tell you.

But what is the omer? The omer is a period of counting that is a mitzvah or “commandment” in the Jewish Bible. Jews are supposed to count the days from Pesach to Shavuot to mark the journey from Exodus (freedom from bondage) to Mount Sinai (communally experiencing the presence of God in a deep and miraculous way and receiving the Torah). It is traditionally a period of semi-mourning, reflection, and, among other things, not shaving or getting a haircut.

To tell the truth, I have never counted the days between Pesach and Shavuot; in fact, now I would have to think… ah, yes, today is the ninth day of Omer. But something the rabbi said, half in jest, about having “rabbinical permission to grow a beard over the next seven weeks” got me to thinking not only about growing a beard, but also about how I might seize upon an opportunity to have a religious experience. Or at least enhance the spirituality of my life for a while.

I’m at the point where I hate my beard. It itches, and I think it makes me look old, mean, and ugly. I took this photo now in case I can’t stand it anymore and I shave it all off. But maybe I’m also taking this photo as a way of reflecting more deeply on having some patience with this process.

It is difficult to sit with that which itches at one and makes one feel old, mean, and ugly. Like my kvetching. I complain. I do it several times a day, often without even thinking. Sometimes my first words in the morning are a form of complaint. This is something I would like to tackle during the next six weeks.

Even if I don’t keep the beard.





4 responses to “Counting the Omer, Growing the Beard…”

  1. Daniel Greene Avatar

    Thanks for writing, Robyn. Glad you’ve enjoyed reading it. 🙂


  2. Robyn Avatar

    Wow! A Jewish interpreter! And a singer! Are you the male version of me? 😉

    Seriously, though, I’ve been reading your blog as part of a project (where I have to read blogs involving the deaf) and have found it very interesting. Thanks for the blog!


  3. Daniel Greene Avatar

    Funny dream! What would an Indian know about the Omer? Must have been a Jewish Indian; Lord knows there are hordes of those. 😉

    To answer your questions, I’ve done some commuting for TRS and VRS work, and I’ve done conference interpreting for an RID regional conference; both paid for travel and lodging, but that’s about it. I’ve heard of interpreters who interpret tours and cruises, but I haven’t done that myself yet (I hear it’s a lot of work, though). As for voice acting, I recommend the The Art of Voice Acting, because those were my teachers in San Diego, and they’re good.

    Thanks for telling me that you enjoy my blog regularly. I appreciate it! 🙂


  4. Darren Avatar

    First of all, I read this post yesterday or the day before and last night it showed up in a dream. Crazy scene in an Indian restaurant that was just a little walk up and get your samosa kinda place. The Indian gentleman was explaining all about Omer to me. Strange.

    Beyond that, two questions. Have you done much interpreting that provided you the opportunity for paid travel and if so how was that for you? I’d really like to use my ASL to get me out of town over the summer. AND I’m curious about gaining skills as a voice-over artist. Advice?

    Thanks for your blog. I enjoy it regularly!


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