Sunday, June 5, 2011

Counting Omer

Just days before commemoration of the most important event in the history of the mankind (Matan Torah - receiving of Torah), I will post two posts. The first one is the conclusion of Rabbi’s Shimshon Refuel Hirsch or if anyone likes it better Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, experts from his ‘Collected Writings’ elucidating meaning of Sfira – counting fifty days from Pesach to Shvios (Passover to Shavuot). Together with other fragment of his comment on parshas Bechikoysay posted the other week, these posted by me experts can change your view on Judaism regardless if you are non observant Jew or Satmar Chusyd. Without exaggeration it can change your self-understanding and meaning of your Jewishness. It may be difficult to go trough Rav’s Hirsch sophisticated but beautiful language but reward is worth of it. Please if you didn’t read these experts from the beginning, start from the first week after Pesach. To make it appear different than my writings I use thin font for rav Hirsch’s comments and as usually thick font for writings authored by me.

We did not value freedom and land according to Jewish Truth, under which they should be valued only to the extent that they afford us the means to an ever more complete fulfillment of the Godly Law. Instead, in accordance with the popular delusions, we saw the Godly Law as being meaningful to us only in that it afforded, secured, and protected freedom and land for us. However, where we thought we could better and more independently secure and increase freedom and land through other means, acceptable everywhere else, we thoughtlessly exchanged the Godly Law as an impediment which had become useless, antiquated and stale. But this exchange was always a deception; and in the meantime we lost the single condition which permits us to hope for freedom and land.

The experience of the centuries will one day bear its fruit. We will grasp forever the true, eternal, and inalienable worth of the Godly Law so that we can truly count from freedom and land to Torah. Only then may we trust "that God will again graciously bless us and again cause His Countenance to shine among us!" We therefore will not yearn for the recovery of freedom and land as ends in themselves, in order to be redeemed by freedom from the drudgery of servitude, and by land from the humiliation of dependency. Rather, the purpose will be: Sheibone Bays Hamikdash Bimherah Biyamenu Vesan Chelkanu Besoirosecho, that the Divine Sanctuary might rise again, and we might do our duty in complete fulfillment of His Law.

And then when the land will have yielded its produce, and the sickle will again be put to work on our own soil, then we will not mistakenly see in the ownership of land the sole means of attaining healing and blessing. Rather we will then hope for the Divine blessing, that God as our God, may bless us through all the worldly goods that He will have given to us. We will use all the rich abundance only in His service, and serve only God as our God, in every way and with everything we have, and bring His Law to its exaltation in fulfillment.

We see now, however, in what a wide, wide perspective these Psalm-reflections celebrate Israel's return to life. Far beyond the narrow confines of Jewish nationality, they include all peoples at once in the same hope. God's Way on earth and His salvation will be recognized among all nations, as all peoples render homage to God "and the nations rejoice in this homage." Only through this homage, and in it alone, will the solution finally be found: how to establish permanently the salvation of nations on earth. The solution, hinted at in the Psalm, consists in regulating the order in which everyone and everything will feel and move: "at a moderate level"—neither too high nor too low—rather in exactly such a position that most closely corresponds to everyone's own nature and results in the benefit of all. "Then the Kingdom and the leadership of the nations on earth will have risen to God". 

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