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Monday, April 8, 2013

The counting of the Omer

In this time period between Pesach and Shavuos we mourn the death of the 24,000 disciples of Rabbi Akiva who died on account of not according each other proper respect. The disciples were obviously extremely diligent scholars, studying the holy Torah day and night, it is very strange and remote to think that they would fall to base and course etiquette. There is more to the story.... always look for the Nanach...

The Talmud (Peshachim 49) quotes Rabbi Akiva as saying that when he was still an ignorant bloke he would say, "who will hand me a Torah scholar and I will bite him like a donkey!" From this we glean that the Torah scholars of the time gave off a bad odor, something which led the commoner to repulse them G-d forbid. Due to Rachel, Rabbi Akiva's wife, he had the opportunity to look past the derision he had for the scholars and realize the awesome beauty and splendor of the holy Torah. Having reached his success in Torah, it would have been expected of him to rectify the "bad odor" that so many scholars exude R"L. Unfortunately these 24,000 students didn't break through this trapping, and only the prized student of Rabbi Akiva - Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the master of the holy Zohar, succeeded in breaking this stigma, and bringing holy brotherhood and love to the scholars, a Heavenly fragrance (the Ariza'l  says that Rabbi Shimon and his group were complete in the faulting of the 24,000, this is what Rabbi Shimon says, We are in affection...).

Today, once again we see that the holy fragrance seems to rest with the Nanach and unfortunately seems to elude so many Torah scholars, may the merit to realize the truth of the holy Petek very very soon! 

1 comment:

Eligalit said...

Maybe Rebbe Akiva was talking about his 24,000 students when he said "I am surprised if there is anyone today who knows how to rebuke" (Tractate Arachin 16b; and as Rebbeinu brings in LM2;8 Tiku Tochecha)
In other words, he was saying that no one in his generation know the Single, Double, Triple, Quadruple song - Na Nach Nachma Nachman, which waters the neshamot and gives them a pleasant fragrance.