For some, the practice of counting the Omer is sooooo 2,000 years ago. Following ancient instructions to count imaginary amounts of barley for 49 days just doesn’t have the sex appeal of other Jewish ritual practices, say shaking the lulav, or performing havdallah.
Enter the Homer Omer, a website and Facebook page dedicated to counting the Omer by way of references to the TV show “The Simpsons.” The site, which turns 18 this year (chai!) includes a calendar for all 49 days of the Omer, including the daily blessing and the unique Hebrew blessing for each specific day of the Omer. Created and designed by Brian Rosman, it is also a definitive collection of every single Jewish reference in the show’s 28 year history. Each time the website is refreshed (the charmingly rudimentary site includes instructions for reloading webpages) a new, Jew-y Simpsons quote appears.
Lisa: Hmm, well, actually it looks like we’re in for 40 year of wandering in the desert.
Milhouse: 40 years? But after that, it’s clear sailing for the Jews, right?
Rosman told Tablet Magazine that he started the site, which he calls, “one joke taken too far” when his children were very little. “Now they’re all out of college,” he said. The long running show has flagged, but Rosman said he still watches it every week in case something Jewish comes up.
Baruch hashem, we need Rosman’s willingness to be a cultural watchdog, or we would miss gems like this one from a brand new Simpson’s episode last week.
Mo (as a club bouncer): The chimp yes, the clown no.
Krusty: Don’t tell me. It’s because I’m Jewish.
Mo: No, it’s because you’re a has-been nobody likes. Alright?
Krusty: Please tell me it’s because I’m Jewish.
Homer Calendar offers a digital calendar, a printout calendar, and daily reminders from a Twitter account, @CountTheHomer.
“Bob’s Burgers” themed Rosh Chodesh reminder next, please.