Jewish Soul Journey


          How do you understand that the
mitzvah of Sefiros HaOmer, from Pesach until Shavous, plays such an important
role in the Jewish calendar when the daily mitzvah is seemingly “merely”
counting each of these days? Another question is what are we counting for and
why do we stop the day before Shavous? If we are counting the days left till Shavous
then we should be counting from fifty down to one.  Of course there are many deep reasons and
explanations of the significance of counting but we shall try to pave a new
path of understanding into this unique mitzvah of counting each day.

            What is it that we are counting? We are
counting the days until we will offer the sheaves (omar) of wheat. On Pesach we
offered barley which is described as food for a behama whereas on Shavous our
offering comes from wheat which is considered the main staple food for human
beings. Therefore the count seems to keep our focus on moving up the spiritual
ladder from our animalistic nature (nefesh behamis) which has been created to
help us fill our basic desires and to transcend nature though acts of altruistic

                    Interestingly all that is
required of us in the mitzvah to achieve this goal is to count from one to
forty nine. How can the act of merely counting achieve anything consequential?
Perhaps there is a very deep lesson in as adults counting  the Omer. As children we are taught to count
in order to know how much I have. Now, during the seferia, we our counting to
know how soon I will give away what belongs to me. Parents and teachers taught
us how to count. Now during serferia, Hashem, Himself, so to speak, is teaching us not only how to count but what actually really counts.

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