Counting the Omer Day 49: Malchut of Malchut

Malchut of Malchut. Sovereignty of sovereignty, leadership of leadership.

We’re there. The last day of the counting of the omer. We are standing at Sinai, ready to receive the Torah.

Malchut of malchut is the point of actualization. Putting everything into action. Bringing ourselves, our personalities, into the world.

The 49 days of the omer are a bridge between Passover, the holiday of “freedom,” and Shavuot, the holiday of receiving Torah. The purpose of getting our freedom was to allow us to receive Torah. But receiving Torah requires preparation. You have to be ready to receive Torah.

There’s a remarkable verse in the Tanakh, Hosea 14:10: “For the ways of the Lord (Torah) are straight, and the righteous shall walk in them, and the transgressors shall stumble in them.”

 

How is it possible that one could stumble in the “ways of the Lord?” How could someone go astray in Torah?

The Baal Shem Tov (Besht), the first chasidic rabbi, said that the Torah is an amplifier: if you are a good person it will make you better, if you are wicked it will make you worse. Hence you must do teshuvah, repentance, BEFORE studying Torah.

For me, that’s the only explanation I have for the behavior of some people who identify as “religious” Jews. I’ve had discussions on Facebook with people who claim to be religious who have no sympathy whatsoever, for example, for African refugees who have landed in Israel. How can anyone who has studied the Torah, with its repeated commands to be kind to the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt, not have sympathy for strangers? Especially ones who are themselves fleeing war zones and oppression, just as Jews were fleeing the Nazis 70 years ago.

Over the last 49 days we’ve been doing that preparation. We’ve gone through each of 49 different aspects of our personalities.

Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow we have our symbolic encounter with revelation. We receive the Torah.

But are we truly ready? Are we worthy?

Chag sameach
Reb Barry

 

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