web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Egg: A Yom Yov Metaphor

Front-Page-051713

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?

Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

Think about an egg. An egg on the Seder plate reminds us of the korban chagigah. In addition, we eat an egg as part of the Seder meal. Why is an egg significant?

There is nothing else like an egg. It is born twice. First, the egg is laid by the mother bird. But where is the baby? Still inside. The baby then has to peck its way out. Following this laborious work, the egg cracks open and the little bird emerges.

This birth is a two-part process: first the egg is laid and then it hatches.

And so it is with us. We are born twice: physically on Pesach and spiritually on Shavuos.

We entered Mitzrayim as seventy souls, and in Mitzrayim we became a nation. As it says in the Haggadah, “The Aramean sought to destroy my father [Jacob], and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, with a family few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty and numerous.”

In Mitzrayim we were born physically. When we left, we were still at mem-tes sha’are tumah, the forty-ninth level of impurity. We were not in a condition to receive the Torah.

We marched forty-nine days to Har Sinai, under the leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu. By the time we arrived at Har Sinai on the forty-ninth day, we had climbed forty-nine steps and had worked our way up to the level at which we could receive the Torah. We still needed a lifetime (or perhaps millennia, on a national level) to absorb the Torah and reach our full potential, but at least we had shed some of the impurity of Mitzrayim.

On Shavuos, Am Yisrael was able to “crack the shell” of our enslavement to the culture of Mitzraim. Inside that shell we were unable to embrace the Torah, but we broke out. At Har Sinai we became a spiritually unique nation.

This is the two-part process of our birth.

Now, as we reach Shavuos, we have been “pecking at the inside of the shell” since Pesach, and we are ready to emerge. We accomplished much spiritual work during Sefirah. Am Yisrael had to shed the impurity that engulfed us in Mitzrayim. Today we have exactly the same job.

Indeed, Sefira is historically a period of challenge for Am Yisrael, and our response to challenge has always been to work on ourselves spiritually. During this period we begin to study Pirkei Avos, whose purpose is ethical refinement.

The language of counting the Omer itself clearly delineates our focus: “You commanded us through Moshe Your servant, to count the Omer to cleanse us from our encrustations of evil and from our contaminations…so that the souls of Your people Israel be cleansed of their contamination. Therefore, may it be Your will, Hashem…that in the merit of the Omer count I have counted…may there be corrected whatever blemish I have caused…. May I be cleansed and sanctified with the holiness of Above, and through this may abundant bounty flow in all the worlds. And may it correct our lives, spirits and souls from all sediment and blemish; may it cleanse us and sanctify us with Your exalted holiness, Amen.”

* * * * *

So, just what we are supposed to do with this Torah we are accepting on the Great Day of Shavuos, and where do we want to go with it?

I would like to extend Rabbi Jaeger’s egg metaphor beyond Shavuos and apply it to the entire Yom Tov cycle. What in fact happens to that little bird that emerges from the egg? What should it do when it cracks through the shell and blinks its eyes in the bright new world?

The holidays have a cycle, a beginning and an end. Many years ago, before my wife and I embraced Torah, life was totally different. Today each day, each week and each month have a structure. A week begins on Yom Rishon (Sunday) and progresses toward its end on Shabbos Kodesh. This of course parallels the account of creation, which takes place on six days and culminates on the seventh.

About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, “2020 Vision” (Feldheim) is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian, and Georgian. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul” (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, and Georgian) and “Worldstorm.” Roy and Leah Neuberger speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Egg: A Yom Yov Metaphor”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations David Roet, at a UNSC meeting held July 22, 2014 regarding the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israel Attempts to Insert Reason into UN Debate About Middle East
Latest Indepth Stories
Noah and his Family; mixed media collage by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Hebrew Union College Museum

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

Sweden prefers to ignore its own problems and make trouble elsewhere.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

256px-Israel-Palestine_flags.svg

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger

In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.

Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?

The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.

“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.

So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-egg-a-yom-yov-metaphor/2013/05/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: