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Home » Emor

Emor: Beyond the Highest Point

Submitted by on April 30, 2006 – 5:27 pmNo Comment | 2,235 views

On the Morrow of Shabbat

In this week’s Parsha we learn of the Mitzvah to count the Omer. The Torah tells us that the count begins on the morrow of Shabbat and continues for seven weeks. Tradition teaches that the word Shabbat here is to be understood as the holiday of Pesach. Why does the Torah not simply say on the morrow of Pesach?

Transcending Shabbat

At their time of redemption our ancestors were in a state of spiritual and moral corruption, undeserving of G-d’s mandate and incapable of its execution.  They were given this seven-week period to develop spiritually and to become deserving of the Torah that G-d would eventually bestow upon them.
G-d created the world in six days and then granted us a sacred day called Shabbat. Shabbat is the high-point of creation yet an integral part of its cycle. Our ancestors were asked to transcend this cycle of creation and reach the highest point. They were asked to develop an association with the creator in order to receive his mandate and become his nation. To do that it was necessary to transcend even Shabbat, the highest and most sacred point of creation. This is indicated by the Torah’s use of the words “the morrow of Shabbat.”

The Point of the Count

The Omer represents the human struggle to become holy. Shabbat is a day gifted from above to help us with that struggle. It is G-d’s desire that we accept his assistance on Shabbat but ultimately learn, during the rest of the week, to stand on our own feet. In this verse the Torah assures us that this is possible. G-d instructs us, and thereby gives us the strength, to count the Omer on “the morrow of Shabbat.”

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