How Do You Count to 50?
The Karaite Jews of America is in the midst of its Up For The Count campaign, and the KJA has received tremendous interest from non-Karaites who want to learn to count the omer in accordance with the traditional Karaite timing and formulation.
This was rather surprising to me initially; but it should not be.
Up for the Count’s Trendy Logo.
What is the world coming to!? The Karaite Jews of America has launched an initiative using . . . hashtags.
This morning, the KJA announced that it wants to help Karaites (of all varieties) count the omer in accordance with the biblical timing. The KJA’s program is called “Up For The Count” and the organization is asking everyone who participates to use the hashtag #upforthecount.
The program has a cool logo, is ambitious, and most importantly is a practical resource.
Well, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is the rest of that presentation. Some more interesting stuff in here and I hope you enjoy it.
The cover of one of the sections of Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper, featuring Rotem Cohen after he decided not to compete on Shavuot.
Many are aware that Sandy Koufax, the legendary Dodgers pitcher, decided not to pitch in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.
In 2011, Rotem Cohen, an Israeli Karaite Jew, decided not to participate live in the Israeli vocal talent show A Star is Born (Hebrew: Kochav Nolad*), when one of the rounds of the competition fell on the Karaite Shavuot. His decision affected his chances to advance on the show. But Rotem doesn’t regret a thing.
How Would Count von Count Count the Omer?
For more than 40 years, Sesame Street has helped children around the world learn how to count. And as a child, I watched the famous Sesame Street character Count von Count: “One ha ha ha; Two ha ha ha; Three ha ha ha . . .”
Religious Jews everywhere are currently “Counting the Omer,” which is a fifty-day period leading up to Shavuot. But if Sesame Street were around in antiquity, Karaites and Rabbanites would still disagree about how to count to 50.
It turns out that Sesame Street can teach both Karaites and Rabbanites how to count; but we need to turn to a different source to know when to start counting.