31st Day of the Omer (Friday, 30 April)
Major Sefirah: Hod (human representation: Aharon HaKohen); minor sefirah: Tiferet (human representation: Yaakov Avinu); Date: 16 Iyar
I was thinking, that as much as the sun, moon etc. praise God, they are not the ultimate of Creation—I am! I’m a human being, a Jew. When I praise God, that’s more beautiful than anything all the stars and galaxies can say. So they hold their praise when I begin mine.
Like Yaakov Avinu who was careful in choosing his words of prayer (see Midrash on Genesis 32:12), I’ll try to be more careful in expressing my thanks and praise to God. I may never speak eloquently, but I should always speak with dignity!
Dignity, dignified. All these prayers we say, including the Birkat HaMazon (Grace after Meals)—I should try to look my best when I say them. You know, not in my tee-shirt and shorts, but clean clothes and neat, not a tuxedo, but something that befits the One I’m addressing.
When I say the Shemonah Esrei blessing Refaeinu (Heal us #8) I will try to make amends for attributing my family’s good health only to doctors, vitamins, yoga etc. They couldn’t’ve done it without Him!
Mark this date down: 16 Iyar. Why? Do you know what happened today? Manna happened! Remember yesterday I said that Moshe Rabbeinu promised that we would see kavod Hashem and we would have what to eat? It happened! And you know, we’ve seen a LOT of unusual goings-on this last year and a half, but this was SO amazing.
This food fell from Heaven. It looked like food, tasted indescribably delicious, but it didn’t fit into any box. Food falling from Heaven? It wasn’t a fruit or a vegetable. It wasn’t fish or fowl. Everybody was asking, “What (mah) is it?!” Nobody had an answer, so we named it man (manna).