This limmud focuses on using Sefirat HaOmer as a paradigm for celebrating meaningful progress while moving towards an ultimate goal. It encourages students to make the most of the post-pesach, end of school year time as an opportunity for growth.
In addition to a standard brachot rishonot, you may choose to ask (pick any or all of these):
1. When I think about the remaining two months of the school year, I feel ________ because _______________
2. a. Think of a time when you set a goal for yourself and successfully met that goal. Either ask: What did you accomplish? Or Ask: What was one factor that allowed you to reach the goal?
b. Think of a time when you set a goal for yourself and did not meet the goal. Either ask a few people to share: What were you not able to accomplish? Or Ask: What was one factor that prevented you from achieving your goal?
During Sefirat HaOmer we count the days from Yetziat Mitzrayim to Matan Torah, from Pesach to Shavuot. Many ask: If the ultimate goal of leaving Egypt was to become Hashem’s chosen nation and receive the Torah at Har Sinai, why aren’t we counting DOWN the days to Shavuot? Why do we count UP to the 50th day instead of the opposite?
Many explain: When you count down, everything is about getting to the end goal. Typically, for example, many count down the days until the end of the school year waiting for summer to come. The only value of each day is that more time has passed, bringing them closer to what they are looking forward to. When we count up, by contrast, we count towards a goal where each step we take along the way is significant in its own right. As the Jews prepared for receiving the Torah they needed to refine themselves and grow to become people worthy of receiving the Torah. Counting up, each day and each week is an achievement on its own - building off of what was accomplished before and setting us up for the next stages.
(You can print the page below for students to write/work on).
Consider: (Students can think about their responses on their own and then work with chavrutot to refine their ideas)
What is a spiritual goal you would like to achieve by Shavuot/the end of the school year?
Why is achieving this goal important to you? How would your life be different if you achieved it?
What is something you could do for one day that could move you closer to achieving your goal?
What is something you could do for one week that could move you closer to achieving your goal?
Go around the circle and ask everyone to share:
I can make the time through the end of the year “Counting Up” days by____________