Tradition & Innovation

The Countesses Do Count

By Ann Ellen (Chana) Dickter
close up of numbers

The blood in our veins
contains remnants
… from the ancient days of goddesses
… from the dimly remembered days
             of idol worship  and
  talismans and the many gods
  of love, war and wisdom
… from the days of the blood-red tents
… from the days when the ancestral Avot had more than one wife, more than one concubine, sanctioned by law and custom
… from the days when each moon cycle was noted and celebrated and
when the imahot and their sister-wives had their own monthly holyday/holiday
… from the days of mayhem and slaughter and migration and women rent their garments and counted the dead…and we are still counting them
…from when counting the memorial candles meant not more light, not more enlightenment, not more wealth…but more dead to count…

we’ve counted for millennia, and still we count:
… the days of the month until the next new moon
… the 49 days of the Omer
… the 30 days of shloshim
… the 11 months of Kaddish Yatom
… the 10 Days of Awe and in-between
… the 7 days of shiva
… the yahrzeits
… the days until the next time ...

We count so we too will be counted … amongst our people
in war, in peace, in health and in sickness and in-between
Limnot u’l’hitmanot / count and be counted

In memory of Linda H. Kriger z”l
In honor of the Countesses of MA and PA

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 


Sign up for our newsletter


Found in: Counting the Omer

Tags: feminism

Want the latest news from Ritualwell?

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store. Plus special discounts for subscribers!

* indicates required