The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” refers to the day following the first day of Pesach which is a … Continue reading The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Omer Counting Period

The period of the counting of the Omer is exalted indeed and filled with sanctity, as the Ramban writes in his commentary on Parashat Emor that the days between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot, i.e. the Omer counting period, retain the sanctity of Chol Ha’Moedand are not days of national tragedy and mourning like the Three Weeks between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the … Continue reading The Omer Counting Period

Mechanics of Counting Omer

Before counting the Omer, one recites the following blessing: “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the counting of the Omer.”  Both the blessing and the counting are said, le’chatchilah, in a standing position.  If one said them while sitting, he has nonetheless fulfilled his obligation (Sh.A. 489:1). There are two components … Continue reading Mechanics of Counting Omer

ADV Parsha Shmini

שמיני בס”ד In a leap year, the Parsha read usually after Pesach is אחרי מות, which also speaks of the passing of נדב ואביהוא. The number of pesukim in Parshas שמיני is ninety one, and the סימן given is עבדיה. The truth is, the concept of שמיני and of עבדיה are opposites, the eighth being עולם השכר or ימות המשיח, and עבד- יה is the … Continue reading ADV Parsha Shmini


Closeness to HashemChapter NineteenT he Prohibition of Anger The gemarah and the Zohar deal very severely with theprohibition of becoming angry – see Nedarim 22 and Pesachim66, and that which is brought in sha’arei Kedusha, part 2:sha’ar4, in the name of the Zohar – there is no place here to elaboratefurther. It is written in the book ‘Sha’ar Ruach Hakodesh’ of HaravChaim Vital in the … Continue reading DIVREY YA’AKOV LESSON’S 19-21

Parsha Tzav

Ramban TZAV’ (COMMAND) AARON. In the [preceding] section of Vayikra, Scripture stated, Speak unto the children of Israel,1 for there He gave the command about the bringing of the offerings, and it is upon the Israelites to bring them. But here He states, Command Aaron and his sons,2 for He now speaks of the rites of the offerings and these are performed by the priests. … Continue reading Parsha Tzav

Erev Pesach Which Coincides With Shabbat

We have mentioned that this year, 5781, Erev Pesach will coincide with Shabbat. We shall now discuss what one may eat for this coming Shabbat’s meals. The Shabbat Night MealOne may eat Chametz for the Shabbat night meal, for the time when Chametz becomes prohibited has not yet arrived. It is likewise permissible to eat Matzah during this meal, for when our Sages forbade eating … Continue reading Erev Pesach Which Coincides With Shabbat

ADV Parsha Tzav

The Rishonim say that the connection between Parshas צו and Pesach, is that in Parshas Tzav, we learn of the mitzvah of הגלת כלים. All the flour offerings throughout the year, except the קרבן תודה (ten out of forty loaves), which was not a חיוב, and the שתי הלחם on שבועות were of matza- לא תאפה חמץ . In the בהמ”ק, there was a taste … Continue reading ADV Parsha Tzav

Shabbat HaGadol

Shabbat HaGadol (“Great Shabbat” שבת הגדול) is the Shabbat immediately before Passover. The first Shabbat HaGadol took place in Egypt on 10 Nisan five days before the Israelite Exodus. On that day, the Israelites were given their first commandment which applied only to that Shabbat, “On the tenth day of this month (Nisan)… each man should take a lamb for the household, a lamb for … Continue reading Shabbat HaGadol


C loseness to H ashemC hapter E ighteenT he P rohibition of H aughtiness In the Nefesh Hachaim in the additional chapters betweensha’ar 3 and sha’ar 4, he writes [adapted], “You the reader, hereis your guidance, with Hashem’s help, in the ways of truth, toshow you the way that you should safely go. You will then beable to slowly rise through the aforementioned levels, accordingto … Continue reading DIVREY YA’AKOV Lesson 18

Expanding our understanding

The word bina is related to the word livnot, meaning “to build”, for this is the essential quality of bina. The abstract, non-dimensional, incomprehensible point that represents chochma is expanded and built into a three-dimensional structure, sometimes compared to the physical dimensions of length, breadth, and depth. In the context of sefirot they signify three aspects of bina, each with its own unique relationship to the other sefirot. 1) The “depth” of bina is the aspect of bina which … Continue reading Expanding our understanding