Yom Haazmaut And Sfirat Haomer
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Yom Ha’atzmaut & Sefirat Ha’Omer
Understanding the power of Torat Eretz Yisrael
“…and why did the Israelites merit inheriting the
We have merited in our generation to behold the reacquiring of Eretz Yisrael in this time period of Sefirat Ha’omer. Interestingly enough, the days which we are celebrating our new redemption, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim, those two holy festivals, both fall out on Sefirat Ha’omer, precisely as Chazal (as well as the Torah) implied in the Midrash above. What is this special virtue of Sefirat Ha’omer that empowers us to inherit Eretz
Sefirat Ha'omer connects Pesach to Shavuot; it lies between our Festival of physical redemption (Pesach) and our Festival of spiritual redemption (Shavuot) – the climax of this process. One would suppose that the spiritual level we should experience during the climax of the Sefira, on Shavuot would be superior to the spiritual level of Pesach. The special Mitzvot of Shavuot, however, do not reflect this expected level. The pinnacle of Shavuot (at least in the time of Beit Hamikdash) was the offering of the two loaves of bread (Source #1, Vayikra -17):
You shall bring out of your dwellings two wave-loaves…they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven….
This offering of Shavuot is the only ÷øáï öéáåø (public offering) that may be and should be made of çîõ . The Holy Zohar questions this issue (Source #3 Vol II 183a):
"On Pesach the Children of
Why is it that at this very moment of the spiritual climax, on Shavuot, we bring this çîõ as an offering?
The battle against the çîõ which we conduct on Pesach, symbolizes the battle against our éöø äøò (evil impulse), since the éöø äøò is compared to the "yeast in the dough" (Berachot 17a). This is a two-phased combat, which starts with a direct attack against the çîõ but ends with elevating this very same çîõ on the altar on Shavuot. The Zohar above provides us with a vivid parable as follows (Source 7):
There was a king who had an only child who got ill. One day, this child had an uncontrollable desire to eat. Said the doctors to his father: let him eat only this specific healthy food, and until he will be well, there should not be any other food at your home. Since this child has been eating this healthy food, said the doctors, from now on, he can eat whatever he desires and he will not be harmed.
At the beginning of the struggle with éöø äøò we must get rid of each and every crumb of çîõ. Every secular influence should be eliminated. But that's not the end of the story. This is only the first stage of weaning from the éöø äøò. The real freedom from theéöø äøò will be accomplished only on Shavuot. Only when we will reach the level where we no longer have to fear of éöø äøò but, rather, find the capability to control and sanctify those secular aspects of life on the altar, only then will we be free. The victory over the éöø äøò cannot be accomplished by seclusion, by totally avoiding the secular influences of life and but rather by openness, by controlling those influences. On this very day, the éöø äøò is sanctified, as Chazal taught us: " áëì ìááê - WITH ALL YOUR HEART", MEANS WITH YOUR TWO IMPULSES, THE EVIL IMPULSE AS WELL AS THE GOOD IMPULSE " (Mishnah, Berachot 9:5).
This process is one of the foundations of òáåãú ä'. Only by making the distinction between the sacred and the secular on the Havdala at the beginning of the week, we can make Kiddush at the end of the week, by sanctifying and elevating the secular realm. Without realizing the fundamental distinction between çîõ and îöä, between the Holy and the secular, body and soul, there is no chance to harmonize or synthesize them.
This transition which we are going through on Sefirat Ha'omer, is exactly the transition between the Torah of the Galut to the Torah of Eretz Yisrael. The Torah of the Galut is the Torah of seclusion, a minimized Torah: "Since the day that the
The Judaism of the past, from
In order to return to our Homeland, we have to restore the original nature of Judaism, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael. We have to practice a life of Torah V'Avodah, Torah which can encompass all areas of life and even uplift the çîõ by offering it on the altar. In that sense, Sefirat Haomer is the best spiritual process to practice the real Torah – the Torah of Eretz Yisrael. By practicing this essential aspect of the Torah, we get the privilege to inherit our homeland – Eretz
"åîàéæä æëåú æëå éùøàì ìéøù àú äàøõ? äåé àåîø áæëåú îöååú äòåîø..."
(Midrash Rabba, Vayikra 28)
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