Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Sefirat Haomer
To dedicate this lesson

Counting from Beginning to End


Rabbi Haggai Lundin

Iyar 5783
Sefirat haOmer, the counting of the Omer, is meant to create anticipation towards the giving of the Torah. We would expect the count to be impatient from the end to the beginning, such as launching a missile – ten, nine, eight... one. Counting sefira, as we know, is the opposite: today is one day of the Omer, today is two days of ther Omer, and so on. Each day stands on its own, and putting them all together ultimately leads to the goal.

In the city of Sderot, where I live, there are, as we know, many "Color Red" alarms. The first few times, I would impatiently count the seconds from the end to the beginning so that we could leave the safe room (or until I heard the "boom" – whichever came first...). Over the years, I've found that for me personally it's easier to count from the beginning to end. This way, I got a sense of maximizing the time in the safe room – not just the moments of terror that we want for them to end, but also moments in which patience and composure are built. A feeling of a small sense of accomplishment of delayed gratification.

This method can also be applied in other areas of life: not to count, for example, the number of pages left to the end of the text, but counting those we have already learned; not to count the kilograms remaining to reach the goal in the diet, but counting those that we have already lost; not to wait impatiently for the end of Operation Shield and Arrow, but to patiently list the achievements of these days; of which there are quite a few.

By the way, if we are dealing with numbers – I don't know what the planned target population of the city of Sderot is; however, nine years ago, during Operation Protective Edge, the city had 20,000 residents; today during Operation Shield and Arrow – it numbers thirty-five thousand. The frustration of the Islamic Jihad is understandable...

Shabbat Shalom!

The bad will pass.

The good will prevail.

With God's help.
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