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    Counting from “Shabbat” – Emor

    The Pharisees and Sadducees had a bitter argument about the law of counting the Omer (Lev. 23:15).

    The Torah commands, “Count from the morrow of the day of rest (Shabbat)”.

    The Sadducees says Shabbat means Saturday; the Pharisees says it means “day of rest”, meaning the first day of Pesach.

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe asks why the Torah was not more explicit in its wording, and why it gave room for the ancient argument.

    He explains that the verse is a tribute to Pesach. The importance of the festival as the transformation of the human personality whereby we acknowledge that the power of handling something like chametz which can be either a force for good or a force for evil needs to be emphasised.

    By calling Pesach “Shabbat” gives the festival an exceptional status.

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