Pearls of Rashi: Emor II

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We discussed the Torah’s commandment to count Sefiras HaOmer earlier[1]; “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day after the rest day from the day you bring the Omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete.”

The Hebrew in the original verse, which I translated as “rest day,” is Shabbos. Rashi cites the words “from the day after Shabbos” and explains that it refers to “the day after the holiday (of Passover).” With these words, Rashi clarifies that here the term Shabbos refers to Yom Tov. How does Rashi know this? From the Talmud, i.e., the Oral Law[2]. The Oral Law, which was given together with the Torah, teaches us that the word Shabbos in this verse means Yom Tov, i.e., a rest day.

In the time of our Sages, there was a radical cult called the Baisusim. These were Jews who did not accept the Oral Law. They followed what they thought to be the literal meaning of the Torah and did not accept the teachings of the Talmud. This group understood the word “Shabbos” at face value. This caused many debates between our Sages and this cult.

We need to understand why the Torah wrote the words “from the day after Shabbos.” Had it been written “the day after Passover” or “the second day of Passover,” it would have solved this difficulty.

To answer this question, we must first understand the spiritual idea of counting the Omer. We count forty-nine days. The reason is that there are seven emotional attributes of the Animal Soul. Each of these contains all of the others. This means that we must refine all; of these forty-nine attributes. That is the idea behind counting forty-nine days. The word Sefirah, meaning counting, also has the meaning of shining. We must cause them to shine.

How can we elevate and refine negative traits? Only with “the day after Shabbos.” Shabbos is the greatest of the seven weekdays. However, it is still a connected to nature; it is one of the seven days of the week. It is only by going after Shabbos, above Shabbos, that we can transform the entire world into G-dliness.

Once we complete the count and have all forty-nine days, we will be ready to receive the Torah of the fiftieth day.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos and a healthy summer!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 1, Page 265

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 23:15.

[2]. See Talmud Menochos 65, b.

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