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THEMES of Featured Ascent Lights

Counting Out Loud
By expressing our regards for others, we help unite the Creation.
On Lag B'Omer, we celebrate the end of the plague that smote 24,000 (!) students of the great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Akiva. Each a respected Torah scholar, they were punished for not respecting one another sufficiently.

After their passing, Rabbi Akiva had new students, though fewer. These men put in the extra effort to honor each other and thereby succeeded in rising to much higher heights.
Counting Toward the Wedding Canopy
The lovesickness they felt approaching Sinai is comparable to a bride counting the days until she is united with her groom.
The Zohar describes the emotional and spiritual longing the nation felt as it approached the giving of the Torah as comparable to that of a bride counting the days until she is united with her groom.
The “Netivot Shalom” on Counting the Omer
By Yitzchak Schwartz
Going out of Egypt occurred in 50 different units of redemption. Thus the going out of Egypt is mentioned in the Torah exactly 50 times.
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