Emor: One Day at a Time

by Twerski, Rabbi Dr. Avraham (See all authors)

In this parsha we have the mitzvah of sefiras haomer. Hashem instructed the Jews to count forty-nine days, and this would then lead to the Revelation and giving of the Torah at Sinai.

There were many miracles at the exodus, but the greatest miracle of all was that a people that had been enslaved, degraded, and dehumanized were able, within a few short weeks, to be transformed to the highest level of spirituality, to declare “We will do and we will listen.” How could so radical a change be achieved?

The answer is the mitzvah of sefira, to count one day at a time, and on each day, rectify a particular spiritual shortcoming. The Torah is teaching us that no challenge is so great that it cannot be successfully overcome if only it is broken down to manageable morsels.

The yetzer hara (evil instinct) tells a person, “There is no way you can be a tzaddik. The Torah's demands cannot possibly all be met.” Our response should be, “I only have to do that today, and that is manageable. I’ll deal with tomorrow’s challenges tomorrow. One day at a time.”