Friday, May 16, 2008

Spirit of the Law: Sefiras Haomer V

5) “…We say the maaravis [a piyut said during maariv in certain communities] for the second day of Pesach on that day even if the first day fell out on Shabbos (and we didn’t say the first day’s piyut because of this). The reason why is because it speaks of the cutting of the omer which was on this night…”

Rav Nosson explains the tremendous significance of the omer offering. The omer is made up of barley, a grain used as animal fodder. The kohein takes the grain and waves it up and down and in all four cardinal directions to represent that even our experiences which seem to be divorced from holiness, that are “dispersed to the ends of the earth,” are all manifestations of Divine providence. We reveal the unified inner essence of all of our diverse experiences by searching for Hashem in everything we do. Nothing is really divorced from the Divine; it merely seems that way to us. The word for waving the sacrifice around is tnufa. This can be read as two separate words: tnu peh—literally, “give a mouth,” or “express it.” One reason why we don’t “express it” or pray is because we feel that the challenges that we face are divorced from the Divine. The moment we reveal that He is truly everywhere and waiting for our petitions, we regain a mouth with which to plead with Hashem for help.[1]

[1] Likutei Halachos, Masa U’Matan 4:9

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