web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


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, “Working Toward Moshiach,” has been released in Israel and will soon be available in the U. S. Roy is also the author of “2020 Vision” (Feldheim), available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian, and Georgian; “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.

Current Top Story
Keeping-Jerusalem
Marching On Toward Full Unification
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

Despite British assuring the Jews would be allowed to return “shortly” it’s only happening now

So it is critical that readers in the districts indicated come out to vote.

We urge readers to seek out upcoming rallies scheduled for times and places that work for them.

To be sure, the worst of what was directed at Mr. Nadler by some random hotheads with no real power or influence (calling him a “kapo,” for example) was over the top.

We can readily understand that it would be an embarrassment to the president were Congress to reject the deal he struck, even if that rejection would be vetoed and go nowhere.

As the First Zionist Congress was indisputably one of the seminal events in modern Jewish history, it is not surprising that it became the subject of some of the most beloved, beautiful, and rare Rosh Hashanah cards ever created.

Many in the media impart bias in place of truth; convey personal prejudice over objective facts.

Nahal Haredi is the ultimate solution, according to Branski, serving haredim from a wide variety of backgrounds – chassidish and yeshivish, Sephardi and Askenazi.

A recent study found that 54% of Jewish college students experienced/witnessed anti-Semitism in 2014

The purpose of an attack on Joseph’s Tomb is to murder Jews at prayer and destroy a Jewish holy site

A nuclear Khomenist Tehran will be a threat to Western democracies and to Jerusalem in particular

The MONSTERS of Nebi Saleh know well the damning, visceral impact of powerful, deceitful imagery.

Jewish Voice for Peace openly supports BDS movement against ALL of Israel & ending the Jewish State.

In recent years, there has been a big push to grow and develop American Football here in Israel.

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger
Roy S. Neuberger

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

Front-Page-050115

Jews thank Hashem at every step. We thank Him for our most basic physical existence. We thank Hashem for every step, for every breath, for every aspect of our elevation from the dust.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

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.

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: