Sefirat HaOmer and saying a Brocha

With Shovuos and the days of the Omer behind us, I’m sufficiently late-to-the-party to post this. I did actually write this before, but on paper, so I’m merely transferring it online.

Understanding the Omer isn’t easy. It took me ages to finally grasp the concept. However, I found an amazing (and simplifying!) comparison when reading the Tanya one day (shortly before Lag B’Omer, coincidentially enough).

Why do we say brochas (blessings) so often? There are two main reasons. Firstly, because as a people, we constantly feel G-d’s presence in our souls, and as such, we find it not only necessary but natural to praise and thank Him regularly. Secondly, saying a brocha prepares one spiritually for a mitzvah. We say a brocha before performing one of many mitzvot, and saying Holy words in a Holy language prepares us to do this.

Just as before you go on an excursion, you prepare yourself with packing and research, before a spiritual excursion (I.e, the performance of a mitzvah) you prepare by saying a brocha, which will fill us with a sense of holiness and closeness to G-d. But wait. What’s this got to do with Sefirat HaOmer?

The link is pretty clear. The reason why we must verbally count the days of the Omer (49 days between Pesach and Shovuos) is because it enables us to spiritually prepare ourselves to receive the Torah! You might think, “But we’ve already received the Torah- I read it in Shul every Shabbes!”. That’s where you are wrong. Every year, we receive it again, on Shovuos.

Just as saying a brocha prepares us to perform a mitzvah, the counting of the Omer prepares us to receive the Torah.

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