By Rabbi Raymond Beyda
"Seven weeks you shall count – seven perfect weeks they shall be"
The holy books write that the days of the counting of the Omer are days of
preparation for the receiving of the Torah on the Holy Day of Shabuot. We
are required, therefore, to use each day to internalize one of the traits
needed for learning the Torah. When one adds a day to his count he should
consider "What have I accomplished in the previous days and what should I
do in the days ahead?"
In the parashah – Hashem commands that these weeks be "Temimot" – perfect
and complete. We interpret this to mean that one should not miss even one
days count and one should count early on in the night so that each day is
also as complete as is possible. Rebbi Hiya said – "When are they perfect?
When Israel does the will of Hashem." What is the connection between a
perfect count and doing the will of the Creator?
When we study the end of the lives of our Patriarchs we see that there
lives are considered a collection of days. "And Abraham was old – he came
with his days", "And the days of Yaakov’s death neared." It says "days"
not "The day" – How many days of death does one person have?
Rather the intention is that the greats who lived perfect lives of
devotion to Hashem came before Him at the end of their lives with all of
their days. That is to say their days were days of accomplishment. This is
what Rebbi Hiya meant to infer. When one does the will of G-d, one is
improving oneself and growing into a more perfect individual – one more
suited to accept Torah. When one misses even one day of the count to
perfection, one leaves a gap in the "Temimoot" of the Omer. So as we
count towards the 49th day, we should work on ourselves to improve daily
in character traits crucial to becoming a perfect human being – the one
Hashem gave each of us the potential to become.
Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.