Monday, April 22, 2019

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Counting the Omer

by Aharon Rubin at Mystical Paths
Excerpt from Eye to the Infinite 

Counting the Omer

The Sefer Yetsiroh specifies three ways in which G-d’s Will is manifest in creation: Olom, Shonoh, Nefesh – World, Year and Soul.1 These are three systems of Divine expression. Through various facets and dimensions, the G-dly ‘image’ inherent in Soul, reiterates in World and Year. Thus, G-d has created fountains of Divinity in space and time that resonate with human consciousness.2 

This Divine Gestalt in Year is expressed through the holy days. The holy days are windows to the supernal, points of sacredness within cyclic time. During the festivals, we bathe in the reflected Light of the Divine Presence, heightening the potential for deveiquth to G-d. 

Each festival is a projection of the Soul of souls through the temporal sphere. Each manifests a Divine attribute (Sefiroh); each is an opportunity to cleave to G-d through that attribute, to improve or rectify it. By celebrating the festivals, you live and embody the Divine gestalt, empowering higher levels of spiritual maturity through the twelve-month yearly cycle.

Pesach starts the cycle. The start of His cycle of Divine revelation, it symbolises G-d's ‘birth’ in this world, the attribute of chessed-kindness.It is a time to reciprocate His Love, to draw near to Him as He draws near to us, to embrace Him with love as He embraces us with His infinite attribute of Ahavoh (love) and Chessed.

This embrace is developed during
Sefirath HoOmer, seven weeks of ‘Counting of the Omer’, as the Bride encircles the Bridegroom seven times.4 It culminates in Shovu'oth and Matan Torah, the expression of Gevuroh-Strength within Loving Kindness, the right strengthened by the left, our acceptance of the Torah symbolising the consummation of that Divine union.

The mitsvoh of counting forty-nine days starts with a ground-related mitsvoh, the cutting and bringing of the Qorban HoOmer (barley sheaves), the elevation of the animal soul, and apexes, on the festival of Shovu'oth, the giving of the Torah, with the bringing of a wheat offering, the elevation of the G-dly soul.5

Tied, through the counting, to Pesach, Shovu'oth has no specific date. It is entirely removed from the physical; attached to the calendar solely through mitsvoth; a metaphysical edifice atop a ladder of spiritual energy consisting of the mitsvoh of counting each day.

Each day you count is another rung on the transcendental ladder. Each is an element of the fiftieth day, Shovu'oth, the light of Olom HaBoh (the World to Come).
 From Eye to the Infinite (© 5779)

1 Sefer Yetsiroh, 3:3; also, introduction of Peirush HoRa’avad, ad loc. The three combine in man as consciousness in time and space.
2 Me'or Einayim, Vayishlach (vol. I, p. 120).
3 Though the year starts with Rosh HaShonoh, the month and festival cycle start with Nisson (see Shemoth 12:2), hinted in the verse, 'The world is built with kindness (love)' (Tehilim 89:3; see above, p. 55). Pesach is the symbol of love. This shows the importance of action – starting with chessed-kindness (Pesach), rather than the head, Rosh HaShonoh, (Kether and Chochmoh) – or the heart – Yom Qippur. It also indicates that we start each cycle like a child without moichin (mature consciousness).
4 Secret of 'הַ גְבֵל אֶ ת הָ הָ ר Set boundaries for the mountain': (Shemoth 19:23), gematria (651) seven times מגן mogein – 'shield' (see Sha'ar HaKavvonoth, Hosha'anoh Rabo), which equals ten times the Name {Ado-}, symbolising the attribute of Malchuth, the bride. אֶ ת   הָ הָ ר - 'the mountain' is gematria Torah. That which was in time, was reiterated in space.
5 R. Shneur Zalmon of Liadi, Liqutei Torah, Emor, p. 35



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