The weeks of Sefira

Rabbi Weiman is a speaker, teaches Jewish history at Esther Miller Bais Yaakov, and is author of the new book, “48 Things, 49 Days,” (Targum Press) as well as “A Simple Guide to Happiness,” “A Map of the Universe,” and “the Everything Learning Hebrew Book.”

By Rabbi Max Weiman

In between Passover and Shavuot are weeks designed as a spiritual step ladder. I have a ladder I use to get up to my roof and gutters on occasion. Without that ladder, getting up to my gutters would be quite a chore. The ladder is designed to make it easy. Similarly, the sages direct us to a set of instructions that are a step ladder and make it easier to ascend spiritually.

Week Five

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The fifth week of Sefira relates to the Hebrew word hod, often translated as “glory”. The figure head who exemplified this trait is Aharon HaCohen, who glorified God by serving Him in the Holy Temple. When we emulate Aharon we are tapping into the step ladder, or maybe better put – escalator, to holiness. How do you do that? Well don’t rush out to Macy’s to buy the fancy Cohen Gadol outfit. Chapters of Our Fathers says that Aharon was known for loving humanity. He went out of his way for strangers Jews and non-Jews. He invited people to Torah classes, and befriended both observant and non-observant Jews. He loved everyone.

And in this way Aharon was not only a lover of humanity, but he was beloved in return. If you want people to love you (and who doesn’t), love them.

Give someone an unexpected compliment.

Give someone an unexpected gift.

Be interested in what’s going on in someone else’s life.

Call a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Look for what is good or special in the people in your life. Remind yourself how much you value them.

Do any of these things, or other things you think of, and you’ll find the next step on the ladder that much easier.

 

Rabbi Weiman’s new book “48 Things 49 Days” is available now on www.targum.com and he authors the website www.kabbalahmadeeasy.com.