Shemini: More than a Numbers Game



As much as we like to think that we control life’s outcomes, anyone who has ever watched an infomercial, a pharmaceutical ad, or read the fine print on a get-slim-quick pill knows that in life “results may vary.”

Life is ephemeral; time is perpetually fleeting; nothing in existence is guaranteed – thus we desire to gain control by predicting the outcomes of our decisions, to project the effects of our actions.

In short, as unrealistic as it may be, we want our results to match up.

We live in a results-oriented world, and to produce the best results we work extra hours and spend whatever spare time we have worrying about the outcome. But this approach, instead of generating masterful results, usually generates anxiety, stress, and more worry.

This week’s Torah reading, Parshat Shemini (meaning “the Eighth”), combined with Sefirat HaOmer (when we count to forty-nine) offers us another approach to achieving earth-shattering and heaven-splitting results in life.

It has to do with a seven-stringed harp being transformed into an eight-stringed instrument by a new, supernatural and divine sound. us today.


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