Dear Parents and Carers,
Making Our Days Count
Chazal teach that the period of Sefiras Ha’Omer is meant to be one of introspection and growth.
I once heard an insightful question on the Omer from Rabbi Zev Leff shlita. Rabbi Leff noted that there seems to be a contradiction in the way we count. We count the days at the beginning of each day and the weeks at the end of each week. To be consistent we should either do both at the beginning or both at the end.
Rabbi Leff answered that the way we count teaches us a lesson of how to best use the Sefira. Often when we embark on a journey of teshuva or spiritual growth, we take too big a jump. Mechanchim in the kiruv yeshivos discourage rapid movement as it is difficult to maintain. It is far better to make small, concrete strides.
Our counting each day reflects this. We count at the beginning of each day to show that each day is a separate small unit. We want to improve but recognise that the best way to do so is in small strides.
However, in order not to become despondent by the seemingly small successes, it is important to sometimes take stock of our achievements. We therefore look back at the end of each week and assess our progress. That is why we count at the end of each week. Slowly, slowly, the small successes add up to something quite substantial.
Take Daf Yomi. Each day another page. But not before too long, many perokim and masechtos are covered.
The way we count, therefore, guides us as to how we should utilise the precious days of the Sefira. Counting at the beginning of each day reminds us to make small goals and counting at the end of each week encourages us to take stock and hopefully look back with pride at our achievements.
The summer term is a time for just this. We can take stock and pride in the accomplishments of the tumultuous two previous terms but plan to move forward with concrete, realistic and at the same time ambitious goals for the period ahead.
Rabbi J Golker