web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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
Masked Arabs clash with Israeli security forces  in anti-Israel riot outside the Ofer prison between Jerusalem and  Ramallah.
Israel Law Center Wins Landmark Decision Against PA in NY Court
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-110714

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

Neihaus-100314

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.

When Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, we received not only a physical freedom but also a spiritual one.

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: