Rabbi Noam Fix, Dean
We are familiar with the routine: work hard cleaning and helping for Pesach, enjoy the chag to varying degrees and then try to remember to count sefiras haomer and see how long you can last. Maybe commit to getting yourself a small reward if you succeed to finish (besides for the obvious spiritual reward that you receive) or if you “break your record!” Sounds familiar…
At some point we begin to ask ourselves does this type of counting “really count?” What is the point or meaning of it anyway? Isn’t it a bit silly to go through the motions when the whole thing seems so devoid of meaning!? It is a question that arises in many areas of our avodas Hashem (or lack there of…). Obviously it is ideal, and one must try, to “tap-in” to the koach of the days and connect to the spiritual elements they possess. But what about when we can’t, or don’t care to…?
One of the main ideas that is accentuated throughout the Haggadah is that Hashem took us out of Egypt even though we were not deserving. One of the main messages of Pesach being: Hashem gives to us, bestows upon us, provides for us even though we are not worthy. His love is unconditional, irrespective of our spiritual standing. Hashem provides for us just because He loves us! That being said, we also find that a staggering 80% of Klal Yisrael did not make it out of Egypt! The reason being that they categorically rejected the idea of leaving. They could not fathom that Hashem would take them out, or they just didn’t care to leave. They did not even express a desire!
I am suggesting that our counting – our routine, devoid of meaning, external act of counting – represents a yearning deep inside which expresses to Hashem that we want a connection. And that is all that is necessary for Hashem to provide us with greatness. That is all that Hashem needs in order to create for us our personal Geulah – to leave our own personal Mitzrayim!
“I want spirituality in my life”, “I would like to have the time and energy to tap-in to these special days, but my life circumstances don’t allow me to! I am too busy with school, dating, marriage, children, familial, emotional, social challenges…I am simply not motivated!”
No matter, Hashem doesn’t need much…
Train yourselves to view any small act as an expression to Hashem of our interest in wanting to stay connected, and that is all that He needs. Taking a second to count the omer, a minute to read this d’var Torah, maybe going to a shiur here or there or having a chavrusa are all small acts that send a message…Leave the window open and that allows Hashem to work His miracles and to provide you with spiritual greatness, even if you are not deserving! Hashem is looking for ways to provide and give us, we just have to make sure the door isn’t closed.
Keep on counting and then “count on Him” that He will provide!