GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
CONNECTING TO JEWISH LIVING WISDOM RESOURCES

 

Better Living Through Counting | SECRETS of the Omer

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by Friedman, Rabbi Manis

“On Pesach…we are basically diminishing all of our ego, our self-importance…

 

We start counting the Omer on the second night, because after having experienced a total cleansing of all ego, now we can start replacing our emotions, our character, one step at a time, but this time, without ego.

 

For example, in the first week we are focused on the emotion of kindness, chesed. Kindness can be egotistical… Now that we have gotten rid of all of our chametz [our ‘puffed-up-ness’, our ego], we can experience kindness [without it].

We are reintroducing [each midah] in its clean and pure form…without chametz. So that is what the counting of the Omer is. It’s a sobering time…because we are cautiously re-entering the world of ego without our ego. We are entering a world of self without the selfish. So we are careful, thoughtful, and mindful.

 

By the time we reach Shavuot, and we have reinstalled all seven emotions, all seven qualities, and they are ego-less, now we can receive the Torah [properly] – hear what G-d is saying without distorting, without hearing what we want to hear, but really hear Him. And that makes Shavuot an incredible experience.”