“You shall then count seven perfect (תמימות) weeks after the day following the (Pesach) …”
This moshal by the Dubno Maggid explains how counting sefirah helps us achieve תמימות:
There were two poor people who went door to door collecting tzedokoh. They begged together, and received equal donations. However, one of the poor people scrimped and saved every penny and spent as little as possible. Every time he saved a few pennies, he changed it into a nickel, and his nickels into dimes until he had dollar bills in his pocket. The other poor person was not as disciplined as his friend and routinely spent the money as soon as he collected it. He was never able to gather enough pennies to change into nickels.
The same contrast can be made between a tzaddik and a rosho, who is also considered an irresponsible person. A tzaddik makes every day count. Every day is full of meaningful activities. Each day is connected to the next one, forming a complete week, in continuation of their עבודת ה. The goals accomplished over four weeks soon turn into the accomplishments of twelve months which translates into a year of meaningful effort. On the other hand, an irresponsible person is more shortsighted and does not have that continuity. He doesn’t look to see how his actions have a long-term effect on his own neshomoh and on Klal Yisroel. He lacks a goal which connects one day to another and truly lives only from day to day.
Hashem commanded us to count the days between Pesach and Shavuos because it was during that period of time that the Jews elevated themselves in preparation for קבלת התורה. So too we are encouraged to prepare ourselves and use this time to elevate ourselves in preparation for Shavuos.
Therefore, just like the poor person who was able to take every single penny and combine it into a large sum of money, we are supposed to make use of every day of ספירת העומר to prepare for our acceptance and rededication to Torah. We don’t just count each day, we make each day “count”! We are proud of those children who recognized this and turned their Pesach vacation hours into time for limud haTorah. This is but one example of encouraging your children to make their days “count.” May we continue to realize the value of time, model that behavior for our children, and may they take the lessons of Sefirah into the entire year.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School