Friday, April 24, 2009

Make it count

Did you vote?

I did. I even have the purple thumbnail to prove it.

Counting votes slowly continues today. One by one by one, IEC officials are tallying the tail end of some 20 million ballots. Some didn’t bother to vote, figuring they wouldn’t change the Zuma fait accomplis. Each result-update emphasizes how every ballot paper really does combine to create a grand total.

In Pretoria they’re counting the polls. Around the world, we’re counting the days. It’s now the time of numbers, of counting. It’s the period called Sefiras Ha’omer.

From second night Pesach until Shavuos, we count each day and tally each week in the longest seasonal mitzvah marathon of the year. Simply put, we’re counting the days until we re-receive the Torah on Shavuos.

Sefiras Ha’omer is more than a simple day-by-day count, though. Numbering the days as we do at this time alerts us to the message of counting.

You count things that are valuable. Some people count their money, others their blessings. Judaism teaches us to count every day that we live, to cherish each one and to make it count.

At the end of his life, our patriarch Avraham is described as “old and ‘come’ in days”. Avraham didn’t waste a day. When he looked back over his long and productive life, he could proudly recall how he had filled each day with meaning.

As the IEC does their counting, let’s make sure to do ours. Our challenge is to fill each day with meaning and growth.

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