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Post Pesach and the Climb to Matan Torah – IYAR 5782

In contrast to the intense individual preparations for Pesach, from the second night of Pesach, we begin the slow and purposeful climb to Matan Torah. For a full 49 days, we count each day, including the prescription for the light we are attempting to fill the world with on that day. After announcing the day we are greeting, the text of sefiras haomer includes chapter 67 of Tehillim. Besides the opening phrase, there are seven Pesukim, totalling 49 words. The longest posuk in this Tehillim has 49 letters. Besides these Gematrias, there must be a deeper lesson and guidance in this short chapter of Tehillim.

We pray in the first line of Chapter 67, for ה׳ to look upon us with חן (graciousness), ברכה (blessing), and מאיר פניו (shine H-s countenance). Really, these three encompass all the blessings we can hope to have and contain a universal message. We will begin to see the multiple layers of meaning that we can extract from these three expressions of blessing.

It appears, at first glance, that all these blessings are meant to be interpreted as physical goodness that ה׳ showers down upon us. Rashi explains that הארת פנים (ה׳ shining H-s light upon us) is referring to rain and dew, certainly providing us with ample sustenance to live. Further on in the פרק, it details how the earth will give of its produce, and ה׳ will continue to bless us. In the month of Iyar, we begin to see the realization of that ברכה when the earth starts to bring forth its produce for the current year.

As we dig deeper, as we always can in the ספר תהלים, the universal message above can equally apply to us as individuals. There are aspects of our psyche that are hidden even from ourselves that we are not able to tap into for positive outcomes. This is the goal of the time of ספירת העומר. We are using these days to take the measure of our animal or lower instincts, and make them bright just like a jewel, a ספיר. All aspects of our personalities can shine brightly in the service of a Jew to his Creator. This is one reason why we work through not only each of our emotions, but the interaction of each emotion with all of the other ones, חסד שבחסד and so forth.

In this chapter of Tehillim, דוד המלך emphasizes how ה׳ turns H-s face towards us with light, helping us achieve clarity in our own world, as we climb the ladder to receive the Torah. Enjoy each day.

Dr. Chavi Goldberg

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