Friday, May 11
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 07:00 pm – Mincha
- 07:37 pm – Candle lighting
Saturday, May 12
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:03 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 04:45 pm – Ladies’ class: My carrots are from Israel, what do I do now? Part 2
- 06:15 pm – Men’s class on Derech Hashem
- 07:10 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 08:30 pm – Ma’ariv
- 08:47 pm – Shabbat Ends
May 13 – 18
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 07:45 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 07:00 pm – Friday
- 08:15 pm – Sunday – Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Days & Weeks
Insights into Parshat Emor of Mr. Yossi Shebson of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
The pesukim tell us (23:15-1): “You shall count for yourself from the day after the Shabbat… seven weeks; they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh week you shall count, 50 days…”
Why does the Torah tell us to ‘count seven weeks, they shall be complete’, and then ‘until the day after the seventh week you shall count, 50 days’. Are we to count 49 days (seven weeks) or 50 days? There cannot be mere repetition, for the Torah does not waste words! Rashi understands that ‘the day after the Shabbat’ is referring to the day after yom tov, i.e. 16th Nissan and ‘complete’ means from the evening. He says also that the ‘until 50 days’ means 49 days to be counted. This appears to strengthen our question because, according to Rashi’s understanding, the two values are equal in the amount of time. Why are there consecutive pesukim saying the same thing?
The N’etziv in Ha’Emek Davar answers that the Torah refers to both values to make sure we do not confuse ourselves and think that the seven complete weeks have to be from one Shabbat to the next. Rather, it is seven complete weeks, the consequence being that we celebrate Shavuot 50 days after we start counting the sefirah. The Malbim similarly writes that we need both pesukim to teach us that we sanctify the 50th day. We do not count 50 and sanctify the 51st day. We don’t count 48 and sanctify the 49th day (completing seven weeks). Rather, we put the two pesukim together which direct us to count seven complete weeks and then sanctify the 50th day as Yom Tov.
The Meshech Chochma gives a different answer. If Shavuot was to fall on the 5th of Sivan (both Nissan and Iyar have 30 days) or on the 6th of Sivan (only one has 30 days) then there will not be seven complete weeks in the sefirah. There will be 2 complete weeks in Nissan, 4 complete weeks in Iyar with no complete weeks in Sivan, only additional days from those left over from Iyar. However, if Shavuot was to fall on the 7th of Sivan, then there would be seven complete weeks – 2 in Nissan, 4 in Iyar and 1 in Sivan. The result would be seven complete weeks with at least one complete week in each month.
This is reinforced by a tosefta 1:4 in Erchin. Rebbi Yehudah says that if Shavuot falls on the 5th of Sivan then ra l’olam – it is a bad sign for the world; if on the 6th then beynoni l’olam – an ok sign for the world. But if Shavuot falls on the 7th of Sivan then yafeh l’olam – it is a good sign for the world. This is because, since we are doing the will of HaShem, and we have both seven complete weeks and count 50 days, He makes a good sign for the world. However, if Shavuot falls on the 5th or 6th and we could only complete half of what the pesukim tell us and count 50 days then it is not so good for the world. Based on this double lashon of days and weeks in the pesukim, the Gemara in Menachot 66a tells us that there is a mitzvah to count both days and weeks as we do in practice.
This clearly indicates that there is intrinsic value to the dual counting. So what message can we find in mentioning both days and weeks? Rav Emmett answers that we must ask ourselves what the days and weeks represent. Days are individual units of time. Weeks are collective units of seven individual days. Therefore, days and weeks can be seen as representing the concept of the individual unit and the collective group. One significance of counting days and weeks is that, as we prepare to receive the Torah, we must bear in mind that there are two levels we need to work on both of which are key: the individual “counting of days” whilst together working on our collective unity as klal yisrael “counting of weeks”. May we take this to heart and take advantage of these valuable days in the sefirah as we count the days and weeks until Matan Torah.