Advanced Search

“Count Up”: From Pesach to Shavuot


Question:

Why is the idea behind the mitzvah to count the days during the seven weeks from Pesach to Shavuot?



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

When you look forward to something very much, when you fix your gaze on a special moment in the future, you count the days to that event. When the Jewish People left Egypt, even though their new-found freedom was very sweet to them, their gaze was fixed on a moment that Moshe told them would arrive seven weeks later — the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

From the second night of Pesach, every night for seven weeks, we count the days that have passed on this spiritual journey from Egypt to Sinai. We call this process “The Counting of the Omer”. We count “towards Sinai”, meaning one day, two days, etc.

The emergence from Egyptian slavery marked the beginning of the physical freedom of the Jewish People. On the spiritual plane, however, we were still sunk in the morass of Egyptian immorality and spiritual pollution. 210 years of Egyptian slavery had brought us very low, down to the 49th level of spiritual corruption. We were standing at the door to the 50th level. Before the giving of the Torah, no one who passed through that door returned. In seven short weeks, God brought us from the brink of spiritual abyss to the highest level of all the generations — the Generation of Knowledge, the generation who were fit to receive the Torah.

Sometimes, when we think of spiritual greatness, it seems so far away from us, as if it were in another galaxy. We think to ourselves that we could never be really spiritual. It's all too difficult. We're too enmeshed in the physical world and its baubles and its lures. But all it took was seven short weeks for the Jewish People to rise from the pits of pollution to the heights of closeness to the Creator. The key to their success was that their gaze was Heavenward. As Oscar Wilde put it "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

When we fix our eyes on the stars of spiritual greatness, when we turn our heads Heavenwards, God draws us close to Him, and the distance between Heaven and earth is a mere seven weeks.


Similar Questions
Holidays > Pesach
Women and Pesach
Counting Jewishly
Molasses on Passover
Exile in Egypt
Cleaning Can Opener
Grape Juice for Four Cups
Nuts and Corn on Passover
Exodus - Reality vs. Holywood
Festivals on Shabbat
Advice for Pesach Cleaning
Egg-Matza
Passover: Four for Freedom
I Came Out of Egypt
Shabbat HaGadol
Special Clothing at the Seder
Should the Hagadah be Recited in Hebrew?
When Erev Pesach Occurs on Shabbat
An Insight into the Meaning of Dayenu
Selling Chametz
The Passover Haggadah
Reclining at the Passover Meal
Yizkor on Joyous Holidays
Kosher Dog Food
Middle Matzah for Afikomen
Meaning of the "Four Cups"
Which Sea Did the Israelites Cross?
Four in the Haggadah
Refilling Wine Cups After Mentioning the Ten Plagues
Memorizing the Ten Plagues
Why Isn't Moshe's Mentioned in the Haggadah?
Number of Jews in Exodus
600,000 Jewish Souls
Passover
Plagues
Matza
Substitute for Shank Bone
Helping the Needy Celebrate Passover
Passover Inspiration
Two Day Festivals in the Diaspora
Starting the Pesach Seder Early
Refund for Shabbat and Yom Tov Expenses
Chametz After Pesach
Storing Pesach and Chametz Utensils
Delivering Pizza
Is Brewer's Yeast Chametz?
Pesach Menu - Then and Now
Kosher Wine
Afikomen
The Name of Passover
The Mouth Speaks
Readings on Pesach
The Seder and the Fifteen Steps
Pesach Appetizer
Four Cups of Freedom
Leaning on Pesach
Why All the Questions?
Pesach Q&A
Potato Starch Cakes
Who Knows Thirteen?
Riding a Tricycle
Tefillin on Chol Hamoed
Pesach Matza vs. Regular Matza
The First Month of the Year
Shabbat HaGadol – “The Great Shabbat”
“Diaspora Day”
Four Types of Freedom
Counting the “Omer”
A One Day Festival?
Passover–Questions & Answers
Counting the Omer
A Second Day of Yom Tov
Focusing on Our Children
Beans, Hummus on Passover
Passover Flour for the Needy
Disposal of Extra Haggadahs
Red, White and Not Blue
Splitting the Sea: Waves of Destiny
Shabbat before Pesach - Shabbat HaGadol
Four Children — Four Generations
Yom Tov Candles
Passover With My Friend and Fido
Elijah at the Seder
Order of the Seder
The Thirteenth Month
Elijah
Have a question?
 
Gateways - Your Key to Jewish Continuity

AskTheRabbi.org is a service of the Gateways Organization © 2022
Technical problems? Please contact the AskTheRabbi Support team