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G-d in the Details

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G-d in the Details

On each day of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuos, it is customary to study a page of the Talmudic tractate Sotah, which consists of 49 pages. But the origins of this custom are immediately called into question: The Talmud existed well before the age of printing, and no two copies had the same format; the pages are always different. Additionally, the first prints of Talmud didn’t have an identical typeface either. Later, one format became common in which Tractate Sotah happens to have forty nine folios. Why then, do we associate Tractate Sotah with the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot?
Divine Providence, Sefirat HaOmer period, Tractate Sotah, Lubavitcher Rebbe
G-d in the Details
Disc 191, Program 764

Event Date: 4 Sivan 5747 - June 01, 1987

On each day of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuos, it is customary to study a page of the Talmudic tractate Sotah, which consists of 49 pages. But the origins of this custom are immediately called into question: The Talmud existed well before the age of printing, and no two copies had the same format; the pages are always different. Additionally, the first prints of Talmud didn’t have an identical typeface either. Later, one format became common in which Tractate Sotah happens to have forty nine folios. Why then, do we associate Tractate Sotah with the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot?

When a custom is accepted in the Jewish world, it assumes the power of Torah. That is even represented in how the pages of the Talmud are split up. The lesson: Everything must be done “to know G-d.” We must pay attention to every detail in the world, and make it a vessel for G-d’s presence in the world.

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