In Pasuk (22 :32)
The Pasuk tells us not to make a
Chillul Hashem, and one must make a Kiddush Hashem.
One may ask, why does the Pasuk bring the two extremes almost in the same breath.
Aren't they totally opposites, how can they be said in the same breath?
Comes Rav Frand and brings down an opinion, that really they are not two opposites, and they go together.
The Torah tells us to make a Kidush Hashem, and at the same time to make sure not to make a Chillul Hashem.
When doing a Kiddush Hashem, a precious Mitzvah like Davening, helping the poor..., we must make sure not to make a Chillul Hashem.
For at times we might get caught up in the Mitzvah, and we may think that what we are doing is in order to protect the Mitzvah, yet at times one is really doing it for himself, in the wrapper of a Mitzvah, and it causes a Chillul Hashem.
One must be constantly aware that people are watching his actions, the higher one is in spirituality, the more he must watch his actions, for people expect more from him.
By the Korbon Todah, it says that
it must be offered "Lir-Tzonchem", willingly.
Why is there a need Davkah by the Korbon Todah that it must be brought "Lir-Tzonchem Tizbachu"?
The Ksav Sofer comes to explain that the Korbon is brought to show a thank you to Hashem, in certain cases that one may find himself. Like when someone is freed from jail, sick that was healed from his illness, etc...
One has just gone through a life threatening ordeal, thus he is required to give a sign of thank you to Hashem through a Korbon Todah.
Thus the Pasuk comes and puts an emphasis on "willingly", for one may say, better not be sick in the first place, and therefore one would not have the need to get better.
Rather one should be happy about
the ordeals that he must go through, for Hashem is not punishing him for
no reason, but for sin's that one may have committed. And only because
of the mercy and the kindness of Hashem, he was saved.
As it says "Praise worthy is the person who Hashem gives "Yissurim".
Thus the Torah comes to tell us that whatever one has gone through, those hardships are best for him in his condition, and the paths that one goes through in life is for his own good.
Also, comes the Likutei Yehudah and asks why by the Korbon Todah, does it say Tizbachu and not Tizbachuhu, like it says by other Korbonos?
Comes the Likutei Yehudah and answers that, here we need Davkah the term of Tizbachu for one must do "Lirtzonchem Tizbachu", that one must sacrifice his needs to Hashem's needs.
One must make himself Bitul, infront of Hashem. By the Torah writing Tizbachu, we can apply the sacrifice also to ones wantings (Ratzon) to Hashem.
Thus when giving the Korbon Todah,
it should be done with complete willingness.
And one should realize that "whatever Hashem does, it is only for ones good.
The knowledge that one needs to
gain of Hashem doing everything for ones good, is also found by Sefiras
Ha-Omer, which is also mentioned in our Parsha.
On the first day of Pesach, Klal Yisroel were commanded to bring a Korbon Ha - Omer, and thereby, allowing Chadash to be eaten (new wheat). We are then commanded to count 49 days from bringing the Korbon Ha- Omer.
What is Omer?
Omer is an amount, this is the only Korbon that is called by a name which is an amount.
We don't call the Korbon by its type (barley) or its goal (e.g. sin offering), but by a quantity (Omer).
The Omer was an offering of barley brought in the Beis Hamikdash on the second day of Pesach.
Comes Rav Shelzinger and explains that Barley is animal food and wheat is food eaten by humans.
Before the Bnei Yisroel received the Torah, since they were lacking the Torah, Hashem told them to bring from the barley, to show that without Torah, ones manner of speech is totally different, and it is better not to use it even.
Yet on Shevuos, when we received the Torah, here we are commanded to bring bread, for everyone has the merit and the responsibility to use his speech to learn Torah and in serving Hashem.
Why do we count the Sefira from the day of the bringing of the Omer?
The Be-er Yosef explains a Medrash on the Korbon Omer, that Hashem told Moshe that when the Ma-an was given by Hashem in the desert, it was an amount of Omer for each head.
Now we are commanded to bring an
Omer, to remind us of the Omer of the Ma-an in the dessert.
The Ma-an was there to teach us that Hashem is the one that gives us our Parnasah (bread) from the heavens. And thus we must always remember that no matter how successful we are, all what we have comes from Hashem.
It is also there to remind us how Hashem took care of our ancestors when they went out of Egypt, and Hashem gave to each person an Omer of Ma-an for 40 years.
Thus Sefiras Ha-Omer comes to remind us of the same miraculous Omer that our ancestors received from the Heavens. These days of the counting of the Omer are to be used to develop oneself into being a better Jew.
The reason for us starting to count from when the Ma-an stoppedMa-an lasted till the 16th of Nissan, on this day there was a need for the Korban Ha-Omer, to remember the lesson of the Ma-an.
The Magid from Kozhnitz explained
that one must use these 7 weeks to correct the Shabbos's that fall during
the Omer, and light them with great spiritual light.
Even if part of the Sefira already passed, one still has the opportunity to light up the days, as it says, "Ahd Mimocharus Ha Shabbos Tisparuh Chamishim Yom".
One has up until the last day of the Sefira to lighten the days with a shinning spiritual light, like the light of a shinning Sapir(same root as Sefira), the 50 days.
The Likutei Yehudah brings down that the 49 days of the
counting of the Omer, is called 7 Shabbatot. For the 49 days are
there to symbolize the 49 Shabbatot of the year.
Just like Shabbos has the ability of lifting one up spiritually for the whole week, the same is by the days of Sefira, if one uses them the correct way, they have the ability of lifting one up for all the days of the year.
One should not be mistaken to think
that he provides his own Parnasah.
One must also remind oneself of the other type of bread that one needs to live.
This bread is that of Torah. If one wants to receive this Torah, he must work for it.
If one puts in all that he has, he will end up getting to the receiving of the Torah.
For when one starts counting, at the end, he will always get to Shevuos at the 50th day. For one who prepares himself the right way will succeed at the end.
Just like when our Ancestors were
travelling in the wilderness, Hashem gave them Ma-an and after Pesach,
they didn't worry how they will reach the level to receive the Torah 49
Same is true by us in our days, we must do our own Hishtadlus, and Hashem will then help us receive the Torah on Shevuous and our Parnasah and learning all year long.
There is a Machlokes if Sefiras Ha-Omer is now a day's a Rabbinical or a Torah law.
Most of the Poskim hold that Sefira is a Rabbinical law now a day's, for we don't bring the Omer and there are no Korbonos.
There is a Machlokes if one is supposed to say "Beh Omer" with a Beis( Minhag Ashkenaz, Gra"h) or does one say it with a Lamed, "Lah Omer" (Ari z"l, Shla"h).
There are those that say both ways, to say "Hayom...Lah Omer, and to repeat again "Hayom...Beh Omer" (the Bracha must not be repeated, only the counting of the day).
According to the Ari z"l, women do not count the Omer.
While the Magen Avraham brings down that there are some places that women have taken upon themselves as a Chova to count. And in this case they would count with a Beracha. And her husband should make sure to remind her to count each night.
One should make a condition before he starts counting the Sefira, or during the Sefira, that every time that one may mention the day of Sefira, without the intention to do the Mitzvah, he has clear knowledge that he doesn't want to be Yotzay with that Sefira.
When one says the "Yehi Ratzon" before counting the Omer, there are those that say not to say "Lekayeim Mitzvas Asei Shel Sefiras Ha-Omer", since there are many that hold that the counting of the Omer, is a Rabbinical Law in our days, and if his intentions are to do the Mitzvah as a D'orisah, he may be considered as a "Ba-al Tosif". Therefore it is best to say Hineni Muchan Umezuman Lekayem Mitzvas Sefiras Ha-Omer...".
It is preferred for one to the count the Omer standing, for it says "Mayhaychel Chermesh Beh Kamah..."by Sefiras Ha Omer. And there are those that say that Kamah comes to teach us that one should count the Omer while standing (same root as Kum-standup).
There are those that also say the Omer every morning without a Beracha, this is similar to lighting the Chanukah candles in Shul in the morning. (Sefer Otzar Dinim U-Minagim).
On Motzei Shabbos when one says Kidush Levanah and Sefiras Ha-Omer, which is one supposed to say first?
We know that "Tadir Veh Sheaynoh Tadir, Tadir Kodem".
We also have Kidush Levanah more frequently than Sefiras Ha-Omer.
However, we count Sefira more times than we say Kidush Levan?
We have the Minhag to say Sefira first, according to some opinions (Revivos Efraim, Lehoros Natan, Dvar Yehoshua) because all hold that K.L is only Derabanan while some hold, as we said above, Sefira is a Deorisah, which comes first.
One must note that if one is afraid that it is cloudy outside, and if one doesn't say Kiddush Levanah first, he will miss out on it, he should say it first. Yet, one is not allowed in this case, to say K.L. before Ma-ariv, since all hold that Ma-ariv is considered Tadir.
(Adapted from Rav Frand, Rav Yisroel Miller, Kesav Sofer, Sefer Otzar Dinim U-Minhagim, Yaynah Shel Torah, Alei Hadvarim Al Hatorah, Piskei Teshuvos, Likutei Yehudah).