The period between Passover and Shavuot is one of “counting.” We count off seven weeks between Exodus and Sinai. One by one, 49 times, the Jewish calendar reminds us that a single day is worth enumerating. In the process of counting off these particular weeks in the Jewish calendar, the narrative of the Jewish ritual calendar transitions from redemption from slavery to revelation – God’s laws being given to the people from on high, and the Israelites transforming their nascent people into a holy nation.
In our secular calendar, the late spring is often more a period of “countdown,” and not “counting up” to a moment of divine encounter. Remaining days of school are crossed off our calendars. Vacations and camps are excitedly planned. We are eager for the passage of days between the cold, dreary winter and the warm summer respite that seems finally around the corner.
Whether it’s the ritual observance of counting the Omer, or the daily march of days toward a summer respite, the underlying lesson is the same. Every single day counts. Twenty-four hours is a precious commodity. Some of those days will pass without notice. The rush of everyday life will steal away days and weeks of our lives without a sense of accomplishment, forward motion.
But some days take our breath away. Maybe it’s a wedding, anniversary, or the birth of a child. A significant reunion where old friends gather and share the joys and challenges of the lives they have lived since their times together. A difficult diagnosis. A heartbreak. A single day can transform our lives.
After a long and challenging winter, our days are getting longer, and warmer, and brighter. Let’s make them count. Embrace their infinite possibility. And as a community, let’s share as many of those days with each other as we can, as we wind down the programs of 5774.
See you at the year-end potlucks, picnics, and celebrations!
Rabbi Debra Dressler