Omer in Rhyme and Song

Many of you are likely in possession of lithographed hagadas of the type produced by the Diskin Orphanage in Jerusalem to solicit donations. (There is no orphanage there anymore, rather they rent out that mighty fortress that they own in the heart of Jerusalem as office space and use the monies and donations for general distribution to the poor (my googling here).

In the Hamburg hagada of the early 19th century, sefiras ha’omer is not included, but in its place is a REMINDER not to forget- in what was likely a humorous and witty rhyme:

Sefiras Ha’omer Al Tishkach Lomer”

Which rhymes if you choose to say “Lomer” in place of “Lo’mar”- which was probably a common corruption in the Judisch-German of the time!

Now to song: On the website of Hagada collector and lecturer Avraham Roos of Amsterdam/ Israel I found sheet music that appeared in early 20th century hagadas. I gave it to my friend to play, and then I faked the chazanus- for the sole purpose of sharing the tune (click here). The arrangement is by Henry A. Russotto who composed and arranged many scores in that era, including a yiddish song about the sinking of the Titanic.

Finally, in Breuer’s the Lecha Dodi for the sefirah is hauntingly baroquish. It is a favorite of mine, and, I am told, that it was originally used for the Three Weeks until it was displaced by the current tune. I don’t have a recording of it, but would like one!







2 thoughts on “Omer in Rhyme and Song

  1. Samson

    Fyi – I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but my grandfather’s recordings of the various Shir Hamalot melodies sung throughout the year are online and available here (you’ll need to create a free account to login and listen). Included in those recordings is the sefirah melody. Obviously not the same as a Lechah Dodi recording, but it does give the listener a flavor for the sefirah tune.


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