web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: A Tale of Two ‘Omers’


Niehaus-042613

Here in Eretz Yisroel, one of the most exciting days of the year is Lag Ba’omer. Massive bonfires blaze in almost every empty lot, and multitudes of people throng to Meron to daven and rejoice. The commentators tell us that the reason we celebrate is because the students of R’ Akiva stopped dying on this day. They add that this was also the day when R’ Akiva started to teach five new students, who in turn continued the transmission of Torah for generations. (One of these students was R’ Shimon Bar Yochai.) We celebrate this continuation of Torah even after such a great catastrophe.

However, the Chasam Sofer (Yoreh Deah 233) reveals yet another fascinating aspect. He writes that according to the midrash, this was the day when the mon, the miraculous food that fell from Heaven during the forty years in the desert, began to fall. What is the connection of all these aspects?

Building Blocks of Faith

For the last few weeks we have been counting Sefiras Ha’Omer. The Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 306) writes that we do so to show that we look forward to the great day of Shavuos, when we will once again accept the Torah. And it is truly amazing to see how so many Yidden of all types and backgrounds, count with enthusiasm and fire, showing their great anticipation. The term Sefiras Ha’Omer comes from the starting point for our counting, the day when the Korban Omer was brought in the Bais Hamikdash. This korban was an omer’s-worth (approximately 1200 to 2250 grams) of barley from the first harvest and was sacrificed as a meal offering on the second day of Pesach. This raises an important question: Why do we count specifically from this korban? What is the connection between the omer and Shavuos?

In our last article (Traversing the Depths with Faith, 3-22) we described the unbelievable level of faith in Hashem that Klal Yisroel achieved through the process of leaving Egypt, a vital key needed in order to receive the Torah. However, since they received this faith on a silver platter, they now needed to reach it through their own work, so that it would become an integral part of their being. So they began building their faith, day after day, until they were ready. We, who also receive the Torah each year, must also build our faith in order to merit receiving the Torah again.

But why is building our faith in Hashem the key preparation? One reason is that Torah is not merely an intellectual exercise or just a book of laws. Torah is the greatest way to connect ourselves to the Master of the Universe, kaviyochel. One who places his trust in his own actions instead of in Hashem, creates a barrier that prevents that great connection.

Lessons from the Omer of ‘Mon’

This is why Chazal tell us (Mechilta 16:4) that the Torah was given specifically to those who subsisted on the mon, for this lifestyle prevented any mistaken faith in oneself. First, one who receives his food directly from Heaven has no doubt as to the source of his livelihood. Second, all leftover mon rotted overnight, making sure that Bnei Yisrael had nothing to rely on besides Hashem. And finally, Moshe told Klal Yisroel that each person should take exactly an omer’s-worth of mon for each family member. There were some greedy people who thought they could take more and filled their vessels to the brim. When they got home, though, they found that all the extras had disappeared and exactly an omer remained for each person. Similarly, if a person took less than he was supposed to, at home he found the proper amount in his vessel. These guidelines allowed Bnei Yisrael to put their full faith in Hashem and thus be truly fitting to receive the Torah.

Now we can explain why the day the mon started to fall was specifically the day R’ Akiva began teaching again. That was the day the mon-lifestyle began, the very crucial component needed in order to accept the Torah. We can suggest, therefore, that this day was imbued with special siyata d’Shmaya, heavenly assistance, to continue the mesorah of Torah.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at kollel.zay@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 “Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: A Tale of Two ‘Omers’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A clip from"How to Stab a Jew," the latest hit on Arab social media.
‘How to Stab a Jew’ Going Viral on Palestinian Authority Social Media [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Why is the tzitzis reminder on our clothing? How does it remind us that there are 613 mitzvos?

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The court cannot solely rely on death certificates issued by non-Jewish institutions without conducting its own investigation into the facts of the case.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

Rabbi Sacks

Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with age and everything to do with names

Slavery was universal; So, why was Egypt targeted in this object lesson?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

The first requirement is a king must admit when he is wrong.

Reward And Punishment
‘Masser Rishon For The levi’im’
(Yevamos 86a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Reb Shlomo Zalman could not endure honorifics applied to him because of his enormous humility

Because we see these events as world changing, as moments in history, they become part of us forever.

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

She was determined that the Law class was Dina’s best chance of finding a husband, and that was the real reason she wanted her to go to college.

But who would have ever guessed that Hashem would unlock the key to the birth on same day as the English anniversary of our wedding.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-120514

The Imrei Emes explains that it is called “shalosh seudos” because it has the power to sanctify all three Shabbos meals.

Niehaus-110714

The Sefer Charedim writes that during the tefillah of Mincha on Shabbos, all the tefillos of Klal Yisroel are accepted!

During shmittah we refrain from agricultural activities and collection of loans, and on Yom Kippur we refrain from all physical pleasures.

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.

When a child needs encouragement whom can he turn to?

Is the fact that we can spend time with our families just a fringe benefit of Shabbos or an integral aspect?

Now that she has entered her husband’s domain, they become extremely close.

The more we are aware of Hashem’s involvement in our lives, the more we will act accordingly.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-a-tale-of-two-omers/2013/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: