Thursday, April 26, 2007

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Counting the Omer Part V

by Reb Nati at Mystical Paths

When looking forward to a particular event or special occasion, it's only natural that we mark our calendar's and count the days. It's the same thing when we anticipate receiving the Torah on Shavuot. We count the days. We look forward to it's coming. This is the main intent of the Omer counting. By realizing that every day counts, by taking the very most we can out it, by making sure that every single minute matters, we can receive the Torah.

The Children of Israel first came close to Hashem on Pesach, after the Redemption from Egypt. To remove them from Miztrayim, Hashem instantaneously pulled them from 49th level of impurity into which they had fallen. But then they had to enter the 49 levels of kedushah on their own, step by step. This can be compared to a child first learning to walk. Soon as he shows signs of realizing there is something better than crawling on all fours, we enforce and encourage his desire to develop. We hold his hand for the first step, but then we let go so that he learns to walk by himself. It is no different in coming closer to Hashem. we start off with a great desire to repent. It's almost as if we are being called by a voice we cannot locate, or guided by invisible hand. Later, the light of this guiding force disappears and we must continue our quest for Hashem under our own inspiration.

The reason this happens is not always understood by most people, though it is essential that it should be. The truth is that by seemingly pushing a person away from Hashem, one is actually drawing him closer to Him. Think about it. Didn't the Egyptians let the Children of Israel leave? Didn't they allow them to go into the wilderness to serve Hashem? The Jews must have understood that they were getting closer to Him. But then they saw the Egyptians running after them, the Jews were left wondering if the Almighty was really with them. Were they really getting closer? It was then that they were told to turn their eyes to Hashem and praying to Him for help. Even when we feel distant rather than close, we must always bear in mind that Hashem is very close to us and He is really trying to bring us closer. Indeed, Hashem's kindness is such that it will even bring closer those who are very, very distant from Him. Nevertheless, from the Sefirah we learn that the process cannot be hurried.

When we look forward to something, we want it to happen immediately. Most of the time, especially if the thing we look forward to is something meaningful, it just can't happen right away. The issue cannot be forced at all. We find ourselves with no choice but to wait. The same is true in achieving closeness to Hashem and receiving His Torah. We must wait to achieve it; wait to receive it. Just as the Jews in the wilderness had to wait until Shavuot. And though on Pesach they received a tremendous light and wanted to serve Hashem properly, they still could not reach their goal until the 50th day. It is the same for us. However, if we persist in our desire to achieve this level, eventually we will acquire this great light of Shavuot (Likutey Halakhot, Shiluach HaKen5)

We are almost there, come join us in celebrating Lag B'Omer.

Posted at Mystical Paths. Read it elsewhere? Stop by the source.


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