Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Emor - 5772
A COUNT OF PROGRESS
In Parashat Emor the Torah lists the Holidays and the Mitzvot that are to be performed on our days of celebration. We are informed as well that Pesach is linked to Shavout by a count known to us as the Sefirat Haomer. The count begins on the day we bring a barley offering in the Beit Hamikdash. Barley is the most widely cultivated cereal grain used in animal feed. Thus the offering on the second day of Pesach symbolizes the fact that we see ourselves as incomplete beings despite the experience of Pesach. The count ends on a day we bring a meal offering of wheat – a grain that is considered fit for humans. The wheat offering symbolizes the fact that with Shavout and the receiving of the Torah we are able to bring human potential to fruition if we commit ourselves to the great teachings we heard on that day.
Thus the Sefirat Haomer period is one of progress. During this phase we remind ourselves that the revelation that occurred on Pesach was given to a nation that was – overall - undeserving. For us to sustain our link to The Creator we need a system where we can learn to improve ourselves and be worthy of the relationship. The only way for a Jew to achieve the mission is by being faithful to the Torah.