Sunday, May 15, 2011

Counting Sefira

I wrote this post last year and wanted to share the thoughts with you again.

Sefira is the time between Pesach and Shavuos-the time we count up towards
kaballas haTorah. What is the reason that we count this way? The Jews are a nation who always work upwards. Ma'alin Bakodesh v'Einam moridim-we go up in kedusha and don't go down. (It's the same way on Chanukah, we light the menorah going upwards. One candle on the first day, two on the second and so on.) When a person is excited for something, for example, for a birthday or a big trip, they make a countdown.

I remember making a countdown for my wedding and giving it to my chosson-each day, he'd pull of the page 25...24...23...22...21...20... The reason why we were counting
down is because these twenty-something days (from when I made the countdown) were standing between us and the wedding. Each time a page was pulled off, it was an excitement! There is less time standing between us and the big day!

However, when it comes to the day we will accept the Torah, the days between Pesach and Shavuos are not just days we want to pass by as quickly as possible. Each day is supposed to be a day of accomplishment. Each day is precious and meant to be used to it's fullest.

I will explain this with a
mashal from R' Shimshon Pincus zt"l. Imagine someone were to tell you that in one month, he was going to give you 3 million dollars. Three million dollars! Imagine that!! The 30 days you have to wait to get the money are now standing between you and your 3 million. They are holding you back from becoming a millionaire. So you want each day to pass as quickly as possible! However, if he were to tell you that each day he would give you 100,000 and by the end of the month, you would have received 3 million dollars, then each day is precious! Each day you are gaining the money that will help you become a millionaire! Now, you view each day as important in helping you achieve your goal.

It is the same thing with Sefira. We are counting towards Matan Torah-towards the day we are going to get the greatest treasure in the world! Each day, we are getting more than a million dollars in spirituality. We are getting treasures and treasures of diamonds! This is why we count up-today is day 1, 2, 3, 4...and so forth.
We are counting because we are so excited to get to this day-the day of Matan Torah! But it's not like we are waiting for the time from now until then to pass, we are using the days we have until then to reach greater heights in our avodas Hashem, by working on ourselves and becoming closer to Him to prepare for the big day!

During the time of the
bais hamikdosh, when korbanos were brought, there was a difference between the korbanos brought on Pesach and Shavuos. On Pesach, the Korban Omer was brought. It was made out of barley which is food for animals. The korban brought on Shavuos, the Korban Shtei Halechem was made of wheat, which is food that is normally eaten by human beings. This comes to show us that the time between Pesach and Shavuos is a time of tremendous growth and change. It is a time that we elevate ourselves from the level of animals to the level of human beings-people! Because without the Torah, we are like animals who have desires and wants and act upon them. But once we were given the Torah, we learned that all our actions can be elevated to a higher level and then we are like people!

Sefira is a special time to work on your
middos. It is a time to perfect ourselves and work on improving the way we relate to one another. There are so many areas in which we can improve. Show Hashem that you are preparing yourself to accept the greatest gift ever-the Torah!


  1. Thanks for reposting, because I didn't read your blog last year! ;) You gave me something to think about... my sefirah had been feeling rather dull.

  2. wow. i like that!!! every paragrpah!!! especially of course R Pincus's mashal and I also like the last idea about barley and wheat!!!!! Thank you@!

  3. corti-thanks! Food for thought, that's what it's all to get practical, read my next post. :-)

    tamar-thank you! It's amazing how it all ties together so well!!


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