Emor 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Emor 19 Iyar, 5761 May 12, 2001

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Reading a D’var Torah by Rabbi Noson Weisz got me thinking about honor and the Omer. We often talk about balance. We even sing a famous teaching The world is a narrow bridge and the main thing is not to fear.

Today, Friday, is a day of balance. There are 50 days to the Omer. That is the period between the Exodus and the giving of the Torah. Today we stand between the first 32 days of the Omer and the last 17. The numerical equivalent of 32 is lev or heart. The numerical value of 17 is tov or good. The two words together become “A good heart“.

It was said that Rabbi Akiva had 12,000 pairs of students and that they all died in this single period because they did not afford the proper respect to each other. But we are also taught that the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students ceased on Lag Ba’Omer, the 33rd day of the counting. That is today.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson that a good heart is one that honors others and treats their uniqueness with respect. When Rabbi Akiva’s students found that secret of a good heart that honors each other, then the plague that took them stopped.

A valuable Tora Dojo lesson can be learned as well. It’s SO easy for us to bow and say “Thank you for teaching me” to those who teach us. It’s SO easy to bow to another student who works with us. It’s SO common to do this that the actions and words lose the real feeling we should have for the uniqueness of the teacher, colleague and student. We can take our gratitude for granted and not really appreciate the blessings we have.

On this narrow, one-day bridge of Lag Ba’Omer, let’s remember to really appreciate our teachers, colleagues and students for their unique gifts and the privilege we have of sharing our path with theirs.

Happy Lag Ba’Omer.

"Tora-Torah" is a weekly column on Parshat Hashavua with insights into the inner aspects of the Jewish martial arts as founded and taught by Grand Master H. I. Sober in the International Tora Dojo Martial Arts Association. The copyrighted 'Tora tiger' logo is used with permission of Prof. H. I. Sober.

"Tora-Torah" is written or edited by Michael Andron, PhD. Lao Shih, a Seventh Degree Black Belt in the Tora Dojo Association. He has been teaching Grand Master Sober's system for over 30 years.

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