It’s now less than a month until our wedding and I’m counting down the days! I remember when it was more than 100 days, and now we’re down to 30. This is really the time of year for countdowns. I’m sure most of our readers have a countdown to the last day of school (I had one too but now I’m done) and maybe a countdown till the first day of camp. But there’s one event that the entire Jewish people is counting down to together. The holiday of Shavuot! Shavuot is preceded by a 49-day count down. Every night when we count the Omer we pause our busy lives and count what day we’re up to, reminding ourselves what we’re counting down to and how much progress we’ve made. This year counting the Omer has been extra special for me, because as I count each night, I’m also one day closer to the wedding.
In fact, counting the Omer is a lot like counting down to a wedding. In many Jewish texts, the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai is compared to a wedding. The Jewish people as the bride, Hashem (G-d) as the groom, and Mount Sinai with its flowers, thunder, and lightning, as the wedding canopy. By counting down to Shavuot we express how excited we are to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
But Shavuot is more than just an anniversary commemorating an event that took place 3323 years ago to our ancestors. The Midrash says that every future Jewish soul was present at the giving of the Torah. You and I were there! When we celebrate Shavuot we’re reliving the giving of the Torah, and renewing our commitment to Hashem. On our wedding day Hashem gave us the most precious wedding gift — the Torah. He told us, “I care about you, and I want a relationship with you. I want you to be my nation. And here are the things I care about, the things that make Me happy.” When you love and care about someone you want to show that you care, to make them happy. Hashem told us so clearly what we can do for Him. Every time we do a mitzvah it’s like sending Him a little love note. We say, “I care about You, and I’m doing this for You.” Shavuot is our chance to renew our relationship with Hashem and recommit to the Torah.
So really we’re all counting down to our wedding day. Aren’t you excited?