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Parshas Emor

Count Up

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

"Seven weeks you shall count – seven perfect weeks they shall be"

The holy books write that the days of the counting of the Omer are days of preparation for the receiving of the Torah on the Holy Day of Shabuot. We are required, therefore, to use each day to internalize one of the traits needed for learning the Torah. When one adds a day to his count he should consider "What have I accomplished in the previous days and what should I do in the days ahead?"

In the parashah – Hashem commands that these weeks be "Temimot" – perfect and complete. We interpret this to mean that one should not miss even one days count and one should count early on in the night so that each day is also as complete as is possible. Rebbi Hiya said – "When are they perfect? When Israel does the will of Hashem." What is the connection between a perfect count and doing the will of the Creator?

When we study the end of the lives of our Patriarchs we see that there lives are considered a collection of days. "And Abraham was old – he came with his days", "And the days of Yaakov’s death neared." It says "days" not "The day" – How many days of death does one person have?

Rather the intention is that the greats who lived perfect lives of devotion to Hashem came before Him at the end of their lives with all of their days. That is to say their days were days of accomplishment. This is what Rebbi Hiya meant to infer. When one does the will of G-d, one is improving oneself and growing into a more perfect individual – one more suited to accept Torah. When one misses even one day of the count to perfection, one leaves a gap in the "Temimoot" of the Omer. So as we count towards the 49th day, we should work on ourselves to improve daily in character traits crucial to becoming a perfect human being – the one Hashem gave each of us the potential to become.

Shabbat Shalom


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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