Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Produce that is fit for horses.”

It is no wonder that there is a veil of sadness and apprehension spread over the seven weeks of Sefirat HaOmer.

At first, national liberation generates great excitement.

The joy of liberation and the removal of the physical burden and all its accompanying symptoms induce the feeling that everything has already been attained.

Later, however, other days begin to come – these are necessarily days of misfortune and calamity but days in which one begins to feel that freedom is not the solution to all the problems.

Freedom affords possibilities, but then almost immediately the feeling of “Sefirat  HaOmer” sets in.

Today is the first, the second, the third day of the omer; this year is the first, the second, the third year since independence.

But these alone do not suffice.

It is impossible to be contented for many years merely with produce that is fit for horses.

The human being, too, demands his portion.

Hence, along with this post-freedom counting, another count must begin, a counting of anticipation, of preparation for receiving the Torah.

For only with the receiving of the Torah do the festivals of beginning end.

When the people receives the Torah and accepts it as the guide to its life path, it can then set out on its way.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz