Day 47 of the Omer

כְּשֶׁהִסְתַּפְּרוּ בִּימֵי הַגְבָּלָה, קוֹדֶם עֶרֶב חַג הַשָּׁבוּעוֹת, לֹא הָיְתָה רוּחַ אַאַמוּ"ר נוֹחָה מִזֶּה.

My revered father, the Rebbe [Rashab], did not look favorably on the practice of taking a haircut [at the conclusion of the period of the Omer] during the [Three] Days of Preparation1 preceding Shavuos, i.e., before the eve of the festival.2

הַמְעַיֵּן בְּשִׁטַּת תּוֹסָפוֹת, דִּבּוּר הַמַּתְחִיל תּוֹרָה (שַׁבָּת פט. א), יָבִין שֶׁחַג הַשָּׁבוּעוֹת הוּא זְמַן עֵת רָצוֹן לְמַעְלָה, וְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרֵךְ מַטְרִיד אֶת הַמְקַטְרֵג עַל עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל, כְּדוּגְמַת הַטְרָדָתוֹ בְּשַׁעַת הַתְּקִיעוֹת בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם הַקָּדוֹשׁ דְּצוֹם כִּפּוּרִים.

Whoever analyzes the approach of Tosafos (Shabbos 89a; s.v. Torah)3 understands that Shavuosis a unique time of Divine favor. At that time [in the Heavenly Court] G‑d disconcerts the Accuser of the Jewish people, just as He confuses him when the shofar is sounded on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.4

Delving Deeply

Every Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, G‑d (so to speak) reexamines His rationale for creating the world. This puts the Jewish people in a place of central concern, for they are the medium through which His purpose is fulfilled.

The festival of Shavuos commemorates and gives us an opportunity to relive the Giving of the Torah, the event that provides us with the means by which this purpose can be realized. Hence, our closeness to G‑d on Shavuos is similar to that of the High Holy Days.

The Sages perceived a hidden allusion to the connection between the creation of the world — and Shavuos (the sixth day of Sivan), in the opening words of the Kiddush that we recite on Friday evening. The account of the climax of the Six Days of Creation begins with the words: Yom hashishi… — “The sixth day, and the heavens and the earth and all their hosts were created.”5 The Sages understand this as a hint — that the creation of all the beings remained tentative, pending the sixth day of Sivan. Their creation would be confirmed and their existence would be made permanent only after G‑d saw that the Jewish people in fact observed the Torah that was given on the sixth day of Sivan.6