Right after the first day of Pesach, we enter a seven-week cycle known as S’firas HaOmer (the Counting of the Omer). The 49 days from Pesach to Shavuos really represent a journey of 49 steps to spiritual growth and emotional refinement that help us renew our acceptance of the Torah on an individual level.

On the first night of Pesach, it’s Hashem Who passes over and takes us out of our personal exile – even if only for a few moments. In those precious few hours on the Seder night, we have a greater ability to push aside all the fear, sadness, apathy, jealousy, and anger, and tap into a heaven-sent influx of emunah. In the process, we strengthen our belief that change can happen…that we are not, in fact, alone…that Hashem can (and will) give us the strength, clarity, and resolve to leave our own spiritual and emotional Mitzrayim.


Because each one of us was brought into this world with an important and unique role to fulfill within it: As David HaMelech says in T’hilim: “He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me… He brought me forth into an open place; He delivered me, because He desired me” (T’hilim 18:20). That simple belief alone is the beginning of the y’shuah. But to get there, we have to want to be saved in the first place.

After the first night of Pesach, the work begins. Day-by-day, step-by-step, we take all the inspiration of the Seder night and use it to climb up the mountain to Kabalas HaTorah.

But aside from Torah u’mitzvos, there are two things we need to have in place to make those steps count and to achieve real growth:

  1. We need to know where we are going. What, in a practical sense, are we working towards each day and every week of the Omer? The holiday of Shavuos is not just about accepting Torah u’mitzvos in a general sense. The real goal of the spiritual preparation and growth during S’firas HaOmer is to build a vessel to accept and be more in tune with the light of our personal portion in the Torah. This means developing our connection with ourselves and our unique tafkid (task) in the world and being aware, to the best of our abilities, of the blocks and obstacles that stand in the way.
  2. We need to have a dynamic, living, breathing relationship with Hashem since, without His assistance, growth on any level in this world is impossible. (How can you tell if you have such a relationship? One sign is that you can, and regularly do, speak to Hashem in your own words, not just from a siddur.)

To be continued…

(Material was previously published on ShiratMiriam.com.)


List of People Who Need a r’fuah sh’leimah (a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Yitzchak ben Mazal Tov

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Yaakov Yosef ben Blima

Shmaryahu ben Raizel Shoshanah Miriam

Yisrael ben Raizel Shoshanah Miriam

Avraham David Ben Ruchama

Chaim Lev ben Chayah Sarah

David Ben-Zion ben Chanah

Tziporah bas Fruma

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Mitali Naomi bas Gilah Farcha

Hinda Brachah bas Sima Golda

Yael Shoshanah bas Chanah Freidel

Sarah bas Bitiyah

Cindy Chanah bas Malkah

Naomi Chavah bas Chanah Rivkah


Israeli Soldiers (Please recite Psalms 25, 26, 46, 83, 142.)

Ben Zion Yitzchak ben Ilanah Malkah

Aharon Simchah ben Meirah Ilanah

David ben Rivkah Zlata

Matnia ben Sarah

Yehudah Chaim ben Mina Chayah

Yehudah ben Baila

Shai ben Baila

Ro’i ben Baila

Asaf ben Tamar

Avitar ben Tamar

Elad ben Tamar

Amit Levy ben Dalit

Menachem ben Aliza Esther

Yehoshua ben Aliza Esther

Binyamin ben Chanah

Yoel Tzvi ben Adinah Shoshanah

Moshe Avraham ben Malkah Rivkah

Yosef Rachamim ben Sarah

Binyamin Moshe ben Sarah

Yosef Elyasaf ben Devorah

Menachem Shlomo ben Miriam Tamara

Omer ben Sigal

Moshe David ben Chavah Leah

Shmuel Yonah ben Leah

Yehoshua Hershel ben Chanah

Alexander Gedalia ben Chayah Basyah

Ezra Yisrael ben Chayah Basyah

Harel ben Chanah

Oz ben Smadar

Omer ben Michal

Reef ben Eti

Aryeh Eitam ben Raya

Amit Yosef ben Devorah

Michel ben Naomi Sarah 

Ravid ben Nega

Aviad ben Liat

Ohen ben Inav

Ori ben Leorah

Amit ben Sanhav

Omri ben Ilat

Sivan ben Halan

Ori ben Leora


To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and complete the Google form.