This week’s Torah portion, Parashas Emor, starts off with Hashem instructing Moshe Rabbeinu to teach the Kohanim, laws of their job as priests on behalf of the nation of Israel in the House of Hashem. We learn laws of the Kohein Gadol, the High Priest, followed by particulars about different sacrifices and their holiness.
We learn about sanctifying the Name of Hashem, and then different laws about the holidays, including Pesach and counting the Omer, a period of time which we’re in right now, which brings us to Shavuos. Next comes Rosh Hashana, Sukkos, and Shemini Atzeres. Each of these holidays has special offerings that are brought and special laws that are followed.
The Torah continues speaking about the Menorah and then the Lechem HaPanim, different parts of the Temple service. The parasha ends off with the story of the blasphemer, a man (son of a Jewish woman and an Egyptian man) who goes out from the nation and curses Hashem. This man is put to death as per Hashem’s command.
This time period between Pesach and Shavuos is called Sefiras Ha’omer, the counting of the Omer. We count 49 days up to the giving of the Torah. Even though the Omer sacrifice is no longer brought, we still count 49 days. Why?
The Jews left Egypt on the 49th level of impurity. If we would have stayed one more hour, the Jewish people would have fallen down beyond repair. These 49 days between Pesach and Shavuos were used by the Jewish people to ascend the 49 levels back up to holiness in preparation for receiving the Torah.
Nowadays, this same power is inherent in the 49 days of the counting of the Omer. During this time, we have the potential to overcome obstacles and ascend in any area of spirituality that we try!! The more effort we put in during this time to get better, the more rewarding it will be when we arrive at Shavuos and the receiving of the Torah.
A special mitzvah, commandment, to work on during Sefiras Ha’omer is the mitzvah of loving your fellow Jew and treating each other with the proper respect. I’m going to try to remember that as we go through Sefirah.
What are you doing to prepare for receiving the Torah?
Listening to a shiur on the parasha by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein on Torah Anytime.
Have a great Shabbos!!