Ra’anana Community Kollel
The Ox and the Omer
Rabbi Dovid Horwitz
The sign of the zodiac for the month of Iyar is Taurus, the ox. The ox embodies the strength of the individual. Unlike other animals, it prefers to work and accomplish on its own.
The message of Iyar is that every Jew must develop his or her own talents and deepen one's own sense of individuality in one's relationship with Hashem and society.
Indeed, the entire month contains within it the counting of the Omer. Each night as we count the Omer, we are meant to rectify a different characteristic within our spriritual makeup so that we will be ready to receive the Torah on the seventh of Sivan. Sefirat Haomer teaches us that each day is unique, each Jew is unique and we each have our own mission to accomplish here.
Hashem endows each of us with different strengths and talents and expects us to develop these gifts to their fullest. Recognizing that each person is different and that no two people are the same, we look upon every person with a newfound respect and admiration, which will allow us to rectify once and for all, the sin of sinat chinam, senseless intolerance, that led to the downfall of the Second Temple and the downfall of Rabbi Akiva’s students.