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Spiritual Life: Counting each day and valuing life

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 May 2018

Archant

Counting each day – making each day count!

This weekend, Jewish Communities around the globe will be celebrating Pentecost – Shavuot –(May 19-21), celebrating receiving the Torah on Mt Sinai over 3,300 years ago, exactly 49 days following the Festival of Passover – Pesach, marking the exodus from Egypt, just seven weeks earlier.

Marking festivals representing the birth and purpose of a nation may well be understood, but why the recounting of the 49 days in between the two historic moments each and every year?

It took seven weeks to reach the mountain. The people of Israel departed Egypt on the 15th of Nissan (lunar calendar), the first day of Passover; and on the 6th of Sivan (May 20) celebrated ever since as the festival of Shavuot, they assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai and received the Torah – the written word from G‑d.

The Kabbalists explain that the 49 days that connect Passover with Shavuot correspond to the 49 drives and traits of the human heart. Each day saw the refinement of one of these traits, bringing the people of Israel one step closer to G‑d, and through it making them worthy of receiving His communication to humanity as a whole.

By counting each day, we come to value the gift of life and how each day we can make a real difference for and with each other, if only we ensure that our time has been put to good purpose.

By reflecting in this manner, we come to understand how important it is to constantly review where we stand in our relationship with our fellow human being.


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