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Iyar 5783

Pesach is a whirlwind event and always has been. During Pesach in Egypt (Mitzrayim) the B’nai Yisroel were whisked out of Egypt one night, and the very next day began their slow and purposeful physical and spiritual ascent to receive the Torah. This is an example of where we are travelling two very opposite paths and existing amidst conflicting emotions. Sefiras Haomer is the process by which we work slowly and painstakingly to internalize the lessons and spiritual goals that ה׳ challenged us with on Pesach. We did not have time to bask in the miracles. We did have to get straight to work on the very next day.

During our daily counting of the Omer, many communities add Tehillim chapter 67. In addition to the “address” or introductory line, there are 7 Pesukim totalling 49 words. It seems to fit beautifully into the Sefira model, but there must be a deeper message that Dovid Hamelech is sharing.

This Perek begins with a posuk which is completely a prayer for abundance, with Rashi describing that this abundance is in physical and material possessions. One of the greatest, if not the greatest gift is that ה׳ shines H-s face upon us כי באור פניך נתת לנו. The source of all goodness is the ‘shining face’ of our Creator. From this all else follows. The month of Iyar is when we see ה׳’s blessings begin to materialize as the new crop of vegetation sprouts above ground. This is the appropriate time to begin offering thanks to ה׳ for all the goodness we merit. As we allow ourselves to feel the gift of ה׳’s love for us, our gratefulness overflows.

An outstanding theme in this perek is the repeat reference to our influence on the nations of the earth. As we welcome the spring and the beginning of the blessing to the land, these blessings expand to miraculous blessings of returning to our land and the everlasting life of the Jewish People. As we recite this perek of Tehillim we are moved to convey the blessing of ה׳’s Oneness to the nations of the earth, so that they too will recognize and rejoice with the Creator of the world. What awesome thoughts. Ultimately, ה׳ created the world so that the entire world and everything that H- created would recognize H-m.

What a powerful lesson for us all in education: everyone plays a role in setting an example for somebody. We are all educators. Let us take it upon ourselves, that in the spirit of the freshness of springtime, when ה׳ is giving us new produce and another opportunity to appreciate H-s bounty, we too should acknowledge the goodness and true potential of a friend, a child, or our students to give them the chance at a fresh start as ה׳ models and gives it to us.

Chodesh Tov

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