Pesach to Shavuot – Shamayim to Aretz
Pesach (Passover) is considered a holiday of grace… The Sons of Jacob, not yet the “Jewish People”, are put in slavery and then liberated because of a promise G!d made with Abraham, not due to their own deeds. It was an undeserved liberation of grace with great signs and awesome miracles. The Sons of Jacob were then taken into the desert where they traveled for 49 days (Exodus 19:1) until reaching Mt Sinai where they received the Torah (Ten Commandments/Utterances) and became a nation, The Jewish People. After receiving these holy guidelines for living in alignment with G!d they continued on their way to the “Land of Israel”, a land/place where they could fully live out their new found connection with G!d (The Ultimate/Heaven) in this world (the relative/earth/creation).
This story is continuing to be lived out to day and as well can be a metaphor for the spiritual path. Let me explain: Pesach is still a holiday of grace and liberation… Through telling the story of exodus and engaging in the process of the seder we can reach great heights… through 4 cups of wine, asking many questions, participating in guided meditations, the doors of liberation can be opened. After staying up all night contemplating slavery and freedom we find ourselves in an altered state/reality. This is the grace of Pesach and it leads us into the journey towards Sinai and Shavuot through the desert – the struggle, avodah (spiritual work) of the omer (counting the days till Shavuot). The omer provides us with a framework within which we can start to earn our way to the mass revelation on Sinai (or in other words – the mass revelation of Divine Will on Earth). Through our own work and struggle we prepare our selves to be vessels to receive the Torah (The blueprint or guidelines for living a Divine life on earth). This is done by using the omer and its corresponding sefirot to begin to purify all the different aspects of our selves/identities from the second night of Pesach until the night before Shavuot.
The work of the omer and this period of 7 weeks now gives us the chance to create and forge a personal relationship with G!d based on our own actions, struggles and hard inner work. After receiving a revelation and liberation of Divine Grace we now work our way up through the purification process of the omer to a well deserved revelation of the Torah (Way to live Heaven on Earth).
And that’s exactly what the Torah is… It’s Divine guidelines for how to live a Shamayim (heaven) based life on Aretz (earth)… As it says at the end of the 2nd paragraph of shema (so that you and your children’s lives can be lived out on the face of the ground/earth that G!d swore to your to your for fathers to give to them, like heaven on earth).
So, Shavuot is like Earth/Aretz, for on Shavuot we learn how to live a G!d centered reality on Earth… We take the heaven-like experience and revelation/liberation of Pesach and bring it down to Earth.