Posted on April 8, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem
From my blog:
Excerpts from R. Ze’ev Wolf of Zhitomir’s teachings on Counting the Omer, from Or haMeir.
וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת
Count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering, seven weeks. Leviticus 23:16
The essence of the Counting of the Omer between Pesach and Shavuot is to mend the seven attributes (1), to bring to them a holy awareness. When you have done this, making yourself into a complete image of the divine in all of your ways, in holiness and purity, then the Shekhinah, in whose image you are made, is also mended. Then we are fit to be God’s, and God to be ours, like a bride ready to enter the wedding canopy…
When your deeds are made good, then you will merit to hear in the plain talk of one person to another words of Torah and advice on how to serve God. This is truly the highest of levels, to have such a clarity as this, and you cannot achieve it unless you seek to refine yourself with all of your soul and all of your might, down to the particulars of your senses and your limbs, purifying and sanctifying them to the service of God, doing nothing, performing no single act nor making any motion, not even lifting your hand or your foot or opening your eyes or your ears, that is not in some way for the sake of the Shekhinah…
Thus God commanded usefartem lachem, “count for yourselves” — sefartem means not only count but “purify” and “clarify,” for yourselves, for your own sake and your own purification, that you may merit the enlightenment of the Torah, beyond which there is no greater delight nor joy.