As explained in Chassidus, Sefiras Ha’Omer precedes Matan Torah because we must refine the 49 aspects of our Nefesh Behamis (animal soul) before we can receive the Torah. But the Torah itself was given to us to refine our animal soul (as Moshe argued to the Malochim who wanted Torah kept in the Heavens that Mitzvos like “Do Not Steal” only apply to one who has to combat an evil inclination). This raises the question: is refining the animal soul for the sake of receiving the Torah, or is receiving the Torah for the sake of refining the animal soul?!
To answer this, the Rebbe points out the language pertaining to Sefiras ha’Omer: to count seven complete weeks (שבע שבתות תמימות). The Midrash asks when are the weeks “complete” תמימות? “When Yisroel are doing the will of the Omnipresent.” This “doing the will of…” is accomplished through the love of “all your might” בכל מאודך (as we say in Shema). When we achieve this level — which is beyond our limitations — Hashem responds to us in a similar fashion, “as water reflects a face” כמים הפנים לפנים. Meaning that what one sees in another person is the reflection of how one looks at them. This also applies Above.
The concepts here are explained at length and in much greater depth in the maamor, but the general idea is a familiar one — that our service of Hashem is what generates the “face” that is shown to us from Above.
The process by which the “face” is generated is:
- Hashem desires that our actions can have an effect;
- We generate a desire from our side, reflected in our efforts (העלאת מ”ן);
- From this is generated the “hidden” sefiros (עשר ספירות הגנוזות);
- These hidden sefiros are the source of the “revealed” sefiros (עשר ספירות הגלויות) which filter down to create the reality in our world.
To explain it more deeply, the Rebbe offers three levels of concealment:
- Something which exists but it’s hidden העלם שישנו במציאות;
- Something which only exists in potential נעלם שאינו במציאות; and
- The third level which doesn’t exist at all, only that there is a possibility for it (less of an existence than even “potential”, as explained in the maamor).
There is a moshol for each of these levels:
- the fire which is concealed in a coal;
- the (potential for) fire concealed in a flint stone;
- the third level is likened to a name: without a name there is not even the possibility of calling the person, when he has a name there is a possibility that one could call him.
Regarding names, the Rebbe explains that it also refers to titles, such as “wise” and “kind” (חכם, חסיד) — that when one calls a person “wise” one awakens and reveals the latent wisdom the person possesses.
(The Rebbe is here teaching is something critical to our times: that in order to reveal the latent power of Moshiach, we need to address him with that title! Meaning that there is practical significance to referring to the Rebbe as Melech haMoshiach.)
There are two key points to understand here. First: based on Hashem’s desire that it should be so, everything is generated from below; second: the “face” that one sees in the water is not something separate from the water, but the water itself. The water here represents the Ohr Ein Sof אור אין סוף Hashem’s unlimited light. For us this means that the inner dimension of the face looking in the water (the revealed Sefiros) is one with the face in the water (the concealed Sefiros), and even further: it is one with the water itself (the Ohr Ein Sof אור אין סוף).
Having explained this, the question becomes then: how do we reveal the Ohr Ein Sof that is concealed within? The answer brings us back to our original question: the avoidah that reveals the inner dimension is the refinement of the animal soul. In fact, refining our animal soul brings about the refinement of all of the dividers פרסאות between all of the spiritual dimensions. And the avoidah that draws down and reveals the essence of the Ohr Ein Sof עצמות אור אין סוף is the avoidah of the neshoma which is above being enclothed in the animal soul, the avoidah which is called רעותא דלבא an awakening of the desire of the innermost heart, beyond limitation.
Both of these are included in Sefiras Ha’Omer — refining the animal soul and also “all of your might” (the awakening of the heart). But more — this awakening of desire or “ratzon” in turn is what generates the “ratzon” of Hashem; that the seven “complete weeks” are complete when Yisroel “makes the will of the Omnipresent”. Meaning that when we awaken the innermost desire of our neshoma (“with all of your might…”), this is what generates Hashem’s ratzon — and from this is generated the entire chain of Creation from the hidden to the revealed. (From our perspective this is a paradox, but in fact the Rebbe is explaining that this avoidah brings into being it’s own source(!) — part of the answer to our original question.)
Since this maamar was edited by the Rebbe for printing in the year 5751, we must ask what the Rebbe wants us to understand from all these deep ideas as regards bringing the Geuloh. It becomes clear that the Rebbe is giving us a deep explanation of the simple instructions that are repeated many times in these Sichos: that it is our job to bring the true and complete Geuloh, and we cannot expect or wait for anyone else to do it, not even Hashem Himself, because we ourselves are the ones who have the ability not only to generate the Sefiros (hidden and revealed) but to “make” Hashem’s ratzon itself. When we truly want the Geuloh now “with all of our might” (to say “ad Mosai” with an emes), then we will generate the same ratzon in Hashem, and it will happen in the blink of an eye!