web analytics
September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas Emor: ‘Stuck In Place’

Staum-042613

Although it was almost twenty years ago, I think that any of my classmates from second grade remember the time that, “Staum got stuck in his chair.”

Our classroom was full of little chairs tailored for little second graders. The wooden chairs had a gap between the chair and the back, and we loved to climb into that gap so that the chair was snug against our waists. Then we would walk around the room with the chair hanging from our bodies, drumming on the cushion of the chair.

I too occasionally engaged in the fun of transforming my chair into a drum… until that fateful afternoon. One day during an afternoon break, I climbed into the chair’s gap and hoisted it around my waist. I proceeded to join my fellow chair-drummers, walking around the room. A few moments later the teacher called the class to attention. We walked back to our places and began pulling ourselves out of our chairs. The only problem was that I was stuck. I simply could not get myself out of the chair. I panicked and told some of my friends, who, in turn, told the teacher. After a few more futile attempts the bewildered teacher sent a student to summon the principal.

Although it seems humorous now, it was quite traumatic for me back then. The principal arrived and surveyed the situation. After seeing the problem, I am sure he turned around to laugh as well. Then he called the resident expert on all such matters, i.e. the chief janitor. As the janitor approached I was filled with dread as I overheard some classmates murmuring that the janitor would have no choice except to saw the chair apart, with me in it. But the janitor’s prognosis was otherwise. Suffice it to say that thankfully the problem was resolved with no damage, other than a bit of a second grader’s pride.

For years, my classmates would remind me of the incident and thank me for the extra recess they enjoyed that day. You can bet that afterwards I no longer climbed into chairs. I was advised to play baseball or basketball instead.

 

(23:15-16) “You shall count for yourselves – from the morrow of the rest day, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving – seven weeks they shall be complete. Until the morrow of the seventh week you shall count, fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal-offering to G-d.” This is the Torah’s instruction regarding the mitzvah of Sefiras Ha’Omer, the verbal counting of the days between the first day of Pesach and the holiday of Shavuos. The Gemara (Menachos 65b) derives from the words of the pasuk, “You shall count for yourselves” that there must be a count for every individual.

Some halachic authorities explain that the Gemara’s exegesis is coming to inform that the principle of “shomea k’oneh hearing is like answering”[1] doesn’t apply to the counting of the Omer.[2] Since the law states that every individual must count, one cannot fulfill his obligation by hearing someone else’s recitation.

HaRav Nissan Alpert zt’l offered a novel explanation of the Gemara’s statement. He explains that when the Torah demands an individual count, it does not merely mean that every person must himself/herself recite the words of the counting. It is also a call for every person to count himself, in other words, to make himself count! The counting of the Omer must be a personal experience, and therefore, Reuven cannot recite it for Shimon and Shimon cannot recite it for Reuven.

The counting of the Omer involves a count of one’s life days, weeks, months, and years. It reminds us of the fleeting passage of time. The message of Sefiras Ha’Omer is “if one does not master time, time will master him.”

Rabbi Alpert continues that on the first day of Pesach, Klal Yisroel physically left Egypt en masse. As soon as they traversed the physical confines of the country of their servitude they became free men. The greatest symbol of freedom is personal control and the ability to manage one’s time. Many commentators explain that the blessing recited each morning, thanking G-d “shelo asani aved – that He did not make me a slave,” is one of gratitude for our ability to decide how to use our time. A slave’s life is dictated by his master; how he utilizes his time is beyond his purview.

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.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 “Parshas Emor: ‘Stuck In Place’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Section of the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial, just one of several Jewish sites and institutions struck by anti-Semitic vandalism in 2014.
Swastikas Again in Series of Philadelphia Attacks of Anti-Semitism
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-080814

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

Staum-062714

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-emor-stuck-in-place/2013/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: