The Torah commands us to count the days from Pesach to Shavuos in order to connect the Exodus on Pesach with the giving of the Torah on Shavuos. The days of S’firas HaOmer are a time to rectify character attributes. Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that the name Shavuos, literally “weeks,” so beautifully conveys this idea since the holiday of Shavuos is an outcome of the weeks that precede it. For this very reason, the date of the holiday of Shavuos is determined by the 49 days of S’firas HaOmer, and not the date, because the 49 days prior, that are used to prepare, are essential to the holiday, and are required in full (see Sheim MiShmuel, BaMidbar 5675).

In Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers), our Sages teach us that there are 48 attributes that we must perfect in order to acquire the Torah. As a prelude to Shavuos, the days of the Omer are designed for us to acquire these attributes and reach new spiritual heights.

In Pirkei Avos, we learn that the Torah is acquired through 48 qualities, which are: study, attentive listening, saying one’s studies aloud, intuitive understanding, discernment, awe of teachers, fear of Heaven, humility, joy, purity, serving the wise, being close with fellow students, evaluative discussion with fellow students, calmness, knowledge of Tanach, knowledge of Mishnah, moderation in business activity, moderation in worldly activity, moderation in physical pleasure, moderation in sleep, moderation in speech, moderation in merry-making, slowness to anger, having a good heart, faith in the Sages, accepting suffering, knowing one’s place, being happy with whatever one has, making a fence around one’s words, not boasting, endearing oneself to others, loving G-d, loving His creatures, loving righteousness, loving justice, loving to have one’s mistakes corrected, keeping far from honor, not being arrogant about one’s knowledge, not enjoying making halachic decisions, sharing another person’s troubles, judging others positively, setting them in the path of truth, setting them in the path of peace, teaching calmly, asking and answering, listening and adding insights, studying in order to teach, studying in order to do the mitzvos, making one’s teacher wiser, reflecting over one’s lessons, and repeating an idea in the name of the person who said it first. For we learned that whoever repeats an idea in the name of the originator brings redemption to the world – as it says in the Megillah, “And Esther told it to the King in Mordechai’s name.” Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers) 6:6


Our sages teach us that the 49 days of the S’firah parallel the 48 qualities that must be developed in order to acquire the Torah. The first 48 days of the S’firah should be used for working on each of those qualities, and the 49th is a day to complete the process. When we reach the end of S’firas HaOmer, we should be energized by the messages of this period of the year and by the new spiritual heights that we obtained. If we really use the S’firah period properly, then we truly will be ready to receive the Torah on Shavuos.


List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah (a complete recovery)


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


Shmuel Moshe ben Peninah

Yosef ben Leah

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Eliyahu ben Miriam

Moshe ben Rachel

Michael Uram ben Raya Rachel

Nisan ben Yael

Nissim ben Devorah

Exra ben Farida

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Mordechai ben Rachel Anba

Yehoshua ben Fruma

Yisrael Meir ben Etta Rachel

Masoud Meir ben Etta Rachel

Moshe ben Mazal

Yechezkel ben Esther Serel

Yitzchak Chaim ben Sarah

Shimon ben Mercedes

Eliyahu ben Margalit

Yosef ben Nosrat

Yosef Gidon Yaakov ben Peninah


Frieda Malkah bas Sarah

Tinokey bas Rivkah

Malkah bas Reich Shifrah

Rachel bas Yehudis Binah Baila

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchama Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Alizah bas Miriam

Chanah Elianah bas Naomi

Adele bas Adi

Orah bas Naomi

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.