16 May 2010

Omer 47: Meld

Omer Day Forty-Seven

I did two bat mitzvahs on Shabbat--one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Each was, of course, beautiful in its own way.  Before all such celebrations began, I taught my Rambam class and had prepared the famous text from the midrash about Moses' expressed fear of dying, wanting to see Torah taught into the future, and God showing him Akiba teaching in Moses' name and then being tortured by the Romans.  "This too is Torah's reward?" asks Moses, aghast.  "Be silenced," God warns.  The search for the reward is not ours to seek.

I am convinced that this is what the Omer is all about.  It becomes abundantly clear to me--the offerings of Omer swell with each day; the accumulation of an offering over and over again is a reminder that the goal is to give, not to get; to seek but not to find; to be obligated, not owned.

From slavery to freedom is about this realization; and when the heavens thunder and the earth and mountains move, the shift taking place is a shift of perspective.  Egypt is about possession; the Wilderness is about its opposite.  And getting to Sinai with Torah is about a total re-orientation of our communal aspirations.

I meld into a greater whole.

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