With Pesach and Shavuot now concluded, we’ve completed the period of the Jewish calendar during which we count the omer.
This ancient timekeeping mechanism finds new life each year as we number the days in between these two holidays. In ancient times, we used an actual omer — a piece of barley — to track the days between these chaggim, while worshipers traveled to the Temple.
Today, the counting of the omer is a more symbolic practice. We keep a mental tally, rather than a pile of barley.