> Holidays > Counting the Omer > Themes

Counting with the 48 Ways

May 9, 2009 | by Rabbi Noah Weinberg

Change your life with the 48 Ways -- A Way a Day!

Starting with the second day of Passover, we "count the Omer" each day, leading up toward Shavuot and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Rabbi Aaron Kotler said that the method of preparing to receive the Torah is to study the "48 Ways to Wisdom." This comes from the Talmud (Avot 6:6) which states that "the crown of Torah is acquired by 48 Ways." Each of these 48 Ways is a special tool to help sharpen our personal skills and get the most out of life.

In order to attain pleasure, in order to accomplish goals, you have to master and apply the tools that the Almighty gave you. You want to be successful in business? Use the 48 Ways. You want to be a good student? Use the 48 Ways. You want to win gold in the Olympics? The 48 Ways will get you there.

Use it for whatever you want out of life. Focus on your goal. Know what pleasure you're living for. Otherwise you're going to be a multi-millionaire -- and miserable. Keep your eye on the ball -- and the 48 Ways will get you there.

Repairing Character

The Sages say that our souls have been sent into this world for no other reason than to repair character flaws. This repair is therefore our primary purpose in life.

The Sefer HaChinuch (14th century Spain) says that we were freed from Egypt only in order to receive the Torah and to fulfill it. Though the Exodus made us physically free, it is through receiving the Torah that we attain authentic freedom of discipline.

Each of these 48 Ways is a step along the process -- addressing a different aspect of our spiritual and moral character: speech, patience, concentration, laughter, leadership, sensitivity, humility, diligence, friendship, joy, etc. Our goal is to define and balance each one of these.

Upon completing the 48 Ways, the 49th step is an overall review. A key to spiritual growth is the realization that greatness requires constant maintenance.

As could be expected, the 50th step is the most integral and profound. It is the step that unifies all the others. The 50th step is connecting with God. Nothing in life is possible without the assistance of the Creator and Sustainer of all life.

Get the Torah

Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, the famed Brisker Rav, said that just as with any legal process there is a special method of acquisition, so too, Torah understanding is only acquired through the 48 Ways.

The time to begin is today. "I don't have time" is no excuse. You can listen to Torah tapes while in the car commuting, or while exercising on the treadmill. There is an excellent "48 Ways" audio series by Rabbi Noah Weinberg, which presents these topics in a friendly and engaging style. You can also subscribe to the "48 Ways" email list and access notes online.

The days of the Omer is the perfect time to undertake study of the 48 Ways -- one way per day!

Use this handy table to keep track of the days:

16 Nisan:
Being Aware Every Moment

Today is 1 day of the Omer.

17 Nisan:
Listen Effectively

Today is 2 days of the Omer.

18 Nisan:
Arrange It On Your Lips

Today is 3 days of the Omer.

19 Nisan:
Understanding Of The Heart

Today is 4 days of the Omer.

20 Nisan:

Today is 5 days of the Omer.

21 Nisan:
Mastering Fear

Today is 6 days of the Omer.

22 Nisan:
The True Charisma

Today is 7 days of the Omer.

23 Nisan:

Today is 8 days of the Omer.

24 Nisan:
Concentration and Will Power

Today is 9 days of the Omer.

25 Nisan:
Honor the Wise Person

Today is 10 days of the Omer.

26 Nisan:
Work It Through With Friends

Today is 11 days of the Omer.

27 Nisan:
Growth Through Teaching

Today is 12 days of the Omer.

28 Nisan:
Be Deliberate

Today is 13 days of the Omer.

29 Nisan:
Something That Is Read

Today is 14 days of the Omer.

30 Nisan:
The Oral Instructions for Living

Today is 15 days of the Omer.

1 Iyar:
Apply Business Acumen to Living

Today is 16 days of the Omer.

2 Iyar:
Harnessing the Power of Sex

Today is 17 days of the Omer.

3 Iyar:
The Use of Physical Pleasure

Today is 18 days of the Omer.

4 Iyar:
Minimize Sleep

Today is 19 days of the Omer.

5 Iyar:
The Art of Conversation

Today is 20 days of the Omer.

6 Iyar:
Laugh at Your Troubles

Today is 21 days of the Omer.

7 Iyar:
Conquering Frustration

Today is 22 days of the Omer.

8 Iyar:
A Good Heart

Today is 23 days of the Omer.

9 Iyar:
Choosing the Right Advisor

Today is 24 days of the Omer.

10 Iyar:
Accepting Pain

Today is 25 days of the Omer.

11 Iyar:
When to Lead - When to Follow

Today is 26 days of the Omer.

12 Iyar:

Today is 27 days of the Omer.

13 Iyar:
Protect What Is Precious

Today is 28 days of the Omer.

14 Iyar:
The Subtle Traps of Arrogance

Today is 29 days of the Omer.

15 Iyar:
How to be Loved

Today is 30 days of the Omer.

16 Iyar:
The Greatest Pleasure

Today is 31 days of the Omer.

17 Iyar:
The Dynamics of Loving

Today is 32 days of the Omer.

18 Iyar:
Take Pleasure In Fulfilling Your Obligations

Today is 33 days of the Omer.

19 Iyar:
Using Your Inner Guide

Today is 34 days of the Omer.

20 Iyar:
Love Criticism

Today is 35 days of the Omer.

21 Iyar:
Handling Social Pleasure

Today is 36 days of the Omer.

22 Iyar:
How Never to be Bored

Today is 37 days of the Omer.

23 Iyar:
The Art of making Decisions

Today is 38 days of the Omer.

24 Iyar:
Sensitivity to Others

Today is 39 days of the Omer.

25 Iyar:
Make Your Help Count

Today is 40 days of the Omer.

26 Iyar:
Getting Into Reality

Today is 41 days of the Omer.

27 Iyar:
Achieving Peace Of Mind

Today is 42 days of the Omer.

28 Iyar:
Being Fascinated with Living

Today is 43 days of the Omer.

29 Iyar:
How to Analyze an Issue

Today is 44 days of the Omer.

1 Sivan:
Expanding Your Ideas

Today is 45 days of the Omer.

2 Sivan:
Learn In Order To Teach

Today is 46 days of the Omer.

3 Sivan:
Learn In Order To Do

Today is 47 days of the Omer.

4 Sivan:
Educating the Educators

Today is 48 days of the Omer.

5 Sivan:
Organize Your Mind

Today is 49 days of the Omer.

6 Sivan:
The Rewards of Gratitude

Today is SHAVUOT

🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram